T cells are key effector cells in the fight against tumors and some infectious agents. Often, they are mediators of immunotherapy biological activity and vaccine protection. They can also drive or contribute to pathogenic immune responses in autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, type I diabetes, psoriasis.
When characterizing the phenotype and function of T cells in disease and during treatment, it is paramount to know whether these T cells have the right specificity, i.e. whether they recognize the relevant tumor or viral target antigens.
Identifying antigen-specific T cells is challenging due to the large number of potential antigenic targets as well as the rarity of antigen-specific T cells present in tissues or in the circulation. Often, specific T cell identification is performed by stimulation or expansion of T cells, resulting in modification of their frequency and/or phenotype.
immunoSCAPE employs targetSCAPE, a unique technology for ex vivo antigen-specific T cell identification and profiling in human and mice.
We use tetramer multiplexing strategies to probe hundreds of candidate T cell antigen targets in a single sample. Antigen-specific T cell detection can be performed simultaneously over several HLA alleles. We have developed robust unbiased statistical criteria to accurately and sensitively identify rare antigen-specific T cells.
In-depth assessment of antigen-specific T cell phenotypic and functional properties is simultaneously performed with panels of 25 to 35 antibodies. Antigen-specific T cell phenotypes can then be directly compared across specificities and/or in longitudinal samples.
As the profiling is performed directly without any T cell stimulation, both T cell frequencies and phenotype reflect the actual in vivo status, so that longitudinal immunomonitoring of disease or treatment-associates changes in relevant T cells populations become meaningful.