Detection of T-cell Vbeta subsets

Dom Spinella dspinella at
Mon Dec 14 10:31:28 EST 1998

Sean Nair writes:
> Does anyone know of an RT-PCR kit for looking at the expression of T-cell
> Vbeta subsets.
> Thanks for your help.

To the best of my knowledge, there isn't one.  However, the game is a
bit trickier than just designing primers and performing amplifications. 
It is critical to have internal TCR standards to compensate for the
(dramatic) amplification efficiency differences between the various
V-beta amplicons.  I wrote a book chapter on the subject a few years ago
(Spinella, DG and Robertson, JM,  "Analysis of Human T-cell receptor
repertoires by PCR" in "The Polymerase Chain Reaction", KB Mullis, F
Ferre, and RA Gibbs, eds; 1994 Birkhauser, Boston).  Read the paper and
if you find it convincing and want to do the analysis the same way, I
will send you the primers and internal reference standards (assuming
that it is human V-betas that you are working with -- I'm afraid I have
no mouse reagents). R&D Systems contacted me a while ago about the
possibility of making a kit from these reagents, but I guess they
decided that there wasn't enough market, so it never went anywhere. 
--Dom Spinella

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