HLA class I-restricted CD8+ CTLs specific for the major outer membrane protein (MOMP) of Chlamydia trachomatis are present in the peripheral blood of humans who acquired genital tract infections with the organism. Three HLA- A2-restricted epitopes and two HLA-B51-restricted epitopes were identified in serovar E-MOMP. One of the five epitopes spans a variable segment of MOMP and is likely a serovar E-specific epitope. The other four epitopes are localized in constant segments and are C. trachomatis species specific. CTL populations specific for one or more of the four constant segment epitopes were isolated from all 10 infected subjects tested, regardless of infecting serovars, but from only one of seven uninfected subjects tested. The CTLs failed to recognize corresponding peptides derived from Chlamydia pneumoniae MOMP, further suggesting that they indeed resulted from genital tract infections with C. trachomatis. Significantly, ME180 human cervical epithelial cells productively infected with C. trachomatis were killed by the MOMP peptide- specific CTLs. Further investigations of the ability of such CTLs to lyse normal infected epithelial cells and their presence at inflamed sites in the genital tract will help understand the protective or pathological role of CTLs in chlamydial infections. The MOMP CTL epitopes may be explored as potential components of a subunit vaccine against sexually transmitted diseases caused by C. trachomatis. Moreover, the knowledge provided here will facilitate studies of HLA class I pathways of chlamydial Ag processing and presentation in physiologically relevant human APCs.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|State||Published - Jun 1 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy