Detection of cardiac myosin heavy chain-α-specific CD4 cells by using MHC class II/IAk tetramers in A/J mice

Chandirasegaran Massilamany, Arunakumar Gangaplara, Nora Chapman, Noel Rose, Jay Reddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


A/J mice bearing the H-2 allele IAk are highly susceptible to autoimmune myocarditis induced with cardiac myosin heavy chain (Myhc)-α 334-352, whereas B10.A mice carrying a similar allele IAk are relatively resistant, suggesting that the generation of Myhc-α-reactive T cell repertoires is influenced by genetic background. To enumerate the precursor frequencies of Myhc-α-specific CD4 T cells, we sought to create IAk tetramers for Myhc-α 334-352. Tetramers were created using approaches that involve covalent tethering of individual peptide sequences or exogenous loading of peptides into empty IAk molecules by peptide-exchange reaction. Using ribonuclease 43-56 tetramers as controls, we demonstrated that by flow cytometry (FC), Myhc-α 334-352 tetramers specifically bind myosin-reactive T cells. CD4 cells isolated from A/J mice immunized with Myhc-α 334-352 were used to optimize conditions for tetramer staining, and neuraminidase treatment prior to tetramer staining permitted the detection of Myhc-α-specific cells ex vivo. The reagents are useful tools for monitoring the frequency of Myhc-α-reactive CD4 cells and to determine their pathogenic potential at a single cell level by FC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-118
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Immunological Methods
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 30 2011


  • Autoimmunity
  • Cardiac myosin
  • MHC class II tetramers
  • Mouse model
  • Myocarditis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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