Human T cell clones specific for epitopes 830-843 and 947-967 of tetanus toxin can be differentially activated in vitro when APC (PBL or LCL) from different donors are pulsed with tetanus toxin. Although PBL tested do not seem to exhibit substantial differences in the number of precursor T cells specific for these epitopes, APC from the same donors activate clone KT-2 specific for peptide 830-843 but not clone KT-30 specific for peptide 947-967. These APC express the proper restriction element because they can present the corresponding synthetic peptides. The failure to present a particular epitope might, however, be explained by the absence or presence of a protease(s) required for Ag presentation that may vary for different epitopes. Indeed, the protease inhibitor leupeptin was found to inhibit activation of KT-2 but not KT-30 T cell clone by the KK.35 B cell line normally capable of presenting either epitope. In summary, these data suggest that tetanus toxin processing and epitope formation by APC is distinct in different donors and for different epitopes.
Processing of tetanus toxin by human antigen-presenting cells. Evidence for donor and epitope-specific processing pathways / Demotz, S; Matricardi, P M; Irle, C; Panina, P; Lanzavecchia, A; Corradin, G. - In: JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY. - ISSN 0022-1767. - 143:12(1989), p. 3881-6.