In situ MHC tetramer staining: In situ tetramers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


With the onset of MHC tetramer technology came a wealth of new understanding of antigen specific CD8+ T cells. This chapter discusses the application of MHC tetramer technology to stain antigen specific T cells in tissue sections. In situ tetramer staining (IST) can be used to determine the localization, abundance, and phenotype of antigen specific T cells in their native environment. IST can be used to stain essentially any antigen specific T cell in any tissue for which MHC tetramers are available. In this chapter, an overview of the technique is described including advantages and disadvantages of using thick fresh sections vs. thin frozen sections, and using direct labeling vs. indirect labeling. A summary of experimental systems that have employed IST to gain understanding of antigen specific CD8+ T cells is provided, including some interesting biology that has been revealed from these studies. Finally, the prospects for using IST to evaluate cancer specific T cells in cancer patients undergoing vaccine therapy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAnalyzing T Cell Responses
Subtitle of host publicationHow to Analyze Cellular Immune Responses against Tumor Associated Antigens
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)1402036221, 9781402036224
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005


  • CD8+ T cells
  • In situ tetramer staining (IST)
  • MHC class I tetramers
  • confocal microscopy
  • vibratome


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