T cell maturation and activation depend upon T cell receptor (TCR) interactions with a wide variety of antigenic peptides displayed in a given major histocompatibility complex (MHC) context. Complementarity-determining region 3 (CDR3) is the most variable part of the TCRα and -β chains, which govern interactions with peptide-MHC complexes. However, it remains unclear how the CDR3 landscape is shaped by individual MHC context during thymic selection of naïve T cells. We established two mouse strains carrying distinct allelic variants of H2-A and analyzed thymic and peripheral production and TCR repertoires of naïve conventional CD4+ T (Tconv) and naïve regulatory CD4+ T (Treg) cells. Compared with tuberculosis-resistant C57BL/6 (H2-Ab) mice, the tuberculosissusceptible H2-Aj mice had fewer CD4+ T cells of both subsets in the thymus. In the periphery, this deficiency was only apparent for Tconv and was compensated for by peripheral reconstitution for Treg. We show that H2-Aj favors selection of a narrower and more convergent repertoire with more hydrophobic and strongly interacting amino acid residues in the middle of CDR3α and CDR3β, suggesting more stringent selection against a narrower peptide-MHCII context. H2-Aj and H2-Ab mice have prominent reciprocal differences in CDR3α and CDR3β features, probably reflecting distinct modes of TCR fitting to MHC-II variants. These data reveal the mechanics and extent of how MHC-II shapes the naïve CD4+ T cell CDR3 landscape, which essentially defines adaptive response to infections and self-antigens.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - 16 Jun 2020|
- Naïve CD4 T cells
- Regulatory T cells
- TCR repertoire landscape