T cell response to N-formylated peptides in humans

Giovanni Ristori, Chiara Montesperelli, Maria Teresa Fiorillo, Luca Battistini, Alberto Chersi, Rosa Sorrentino, Giovanna Borsellino, Alessia Perna, Daniela Tramonti, Stefania Cannoni, Maria Paola Perrone, Franco Giubilei, Paolo Riccio, Marco Salvetti, Carla Buttinelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present the first evidence of a T lymphocyte response to N-formylated peptides in humans. N-formylated peptide sequences from self (mitochondrial) and foreign (microbial) antigens were used to isolate antigen-specific T cell clones from healthy individuals, including a set of monozygotic twins. The observed response differed from that previously described in mouse (CD4+ phenotype and MHC class II restriction in humans vs. CD8+ phenotype and class I restriction in mice). These lymphocytes produce substantial amounts of IFN-γ. They were isolated in only one of the monozygotic twins, which suggests that their expansion in the healthy immune repertoire is independent of the genetic background. Our result will help in assessing the relevance of N-formylated peptide-specific T cells in protection against infections within the human immune system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2762-2770
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • MHC
  • N-formylated peptide
  • T lymphocyte
  • TCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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