Self-renewal assay for T-cells

by Alexey Bersenev on July 26, 2014 · 0 comments

in hematopoietic, methods

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Some subsets of memory T-cells (Tcm) were described as “stem cell-like” or “T memory stem cells“. They have all characteristics of adult stem cells, however, their self-renewal potential was tested only on population level. New study, published in Immunity, for the first time provides evidence for self-renewal of single Tcm. The authors did fantastic job in carrying out self-renewal serial transplantation assay. Luca Gattinoni in his commentary “Memory T cells officially join the stem cell club” wrote:

It was an extraordinary undertaking, performing a serial trigenerational single-cell transfer, an experiment that was never attempted before for any type of mammalian stem cells.

For donor cell tracking, the authors used congenic mouse model, which is very common in hematopoietic stem cell assessment. For recipient conditioning and testing functionality of donor-derived T-cells, bacterial pathogen (Listeria) was used. Single donor Tcm were sorted from mice and serially transferred into recipients for 3 rounds. Single CD62L+ Tcm fully reconstituted phenotypic diversity of T-cell lineage and provided pathogen-specific protection in this clonogenic in vivo assay.

This study solidifies the evidence for “stemness” of Tcm and sets a “new standard” for assessment of T-cell self-renewal in vivo. Importantly, Graef described a “therapeutically ideal” subset of CD62L+ T-cells for targeting infectious pathogens and cancer.

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