Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

This special issue of the Journal of Immunological Methods brings together articles from some of the leaders in labelling antigen-specific T and NKT cells, describing recent technical advances and their impact on the study of immunology. Although tetramers, or tetrameric MHC class I/peptide complexes, are the best known reagents in the field, various forms of oligomeric complexes are now being successfully used to detect antigen-specific T cells, including cytotoxic T lymphocytes, MHC class II-restricted CD4+ T cells, and glycolipid-specific T cells restricted by CD1 isoforms. The articles presented here detail the breadth of the oligomeric structures being used to probe T, NK and NKT cell function, and cover both the technical and practical aspects of their use, as well as the new biology revealed. In addition to providing a summary of the current state of the art, these contributions also provide clear pointers to strategies likely to succeed in the future. In this introductory chapter, we summarise the work presented in the other articles of this issue, and provide an overarching view of this rapidly evolving field. We also provide a summary of the MHC class I molecules successfully refolded to date, and provide references to other relevant sources of technical information.

Original publication




Journal article


J Immunol Methods

Publication Date





3 - 7


Histocompatibility Antigens Class I, Humans, Immunologic Techniques, In Vitro Techniques, Killer Cells, Natural, Protein Folding, Protein Structure, Quaternary, Recombinant Proteins, T-Lymphocytes