Thursday, 30 October 2014

MHC Tetramers: Directly Measure Antigen-Specific T Cells

MHC Tetramers provide the means to rapidly detect and enumerate antigen specific T cells directly from ex vivo (patient) (donor) samples without the need for cell stimulation.  

MHC Tetramers are complexes of four Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) molecules associated with a specific peptide and bound to a flurochrome. The MHC/peptide complex detects antigen specific T cells at the single-cell level, surpassing detection limits of traditional cell-based methods.

Advantages of MHC Tetramers:
  • The only method to detect antigen-specific CD4+ or CD8+ T cells ex vivo
  • Reduced non-specific binding due to proprietary mutation in the alpha-3 domain in human MHC class I tetramers.
  • Immune responses are targeted to the specific allele(s)
  • Tetramer staining is quantitative
  • Does not require the use of radioactive isotopes
  • Rapid : allowing fresh blood (or tissue-derived) sample to be analysed
  • Large numbers of samples can be processed using flow cytometer
  • Tetramer-labelled cells remain viable
  • All specific CTLs are detected
  • Tetramers can be customized for unique applications

Disease Specific Tetramers:

Infectious Diseases : 
HIV-AIDS, EBV, CMV, HPV, HBV, HCV, Influenza, Malaria, TB and RSV, Chlamydia, HSV

Cancer : 
Breast, Prostate, Melanoma, Colon, Lung, Ovarian, Leukemia, Myeloma,Lymphoma, Carcinoma, Sarcoma

Autoimmune Diseases :
Diabetes, Multiple sclerosis, Autoimmune vitiligo

Transplantation :

Alleles Available:

Murine Class I Alleles
Rhesus Macaque Alleles

Please use the links below to view further details:

MHC Tetramer technology is the most accurate method for detection of rare events. The information MHC tetramers provide is pivotal to the direct development of vaccines and therapies, as well as monitoring patient responses during clinical trials. To greatly reduce non-specific binding, Class I iTAg MHC Tetramers specific to human alleles have a proprietary mutation in the a3 domain (see figure 1a and 1b below).

Further information can be found at

Caltag Medsystems is the UK distributor for MBL tetramers. If you are looking for a particular product, please let me know by calling +44 (0)1280 827460 or email Full pricing details can also be found here

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