The advent of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) multimer technology has led to a breakthrough in the quantification and analysis of antigen-specific T cells. In particular, this technology has dramatically advanced the measurement and analysis of CD8 T cells and is being applied more widely. In addition, the scope of application of MHC multimer technology is gradually expanding to other T cells such as CD4 T cells, natural killer T cells, and mucosal-associated invariant T cells. MHC multimer technology acts by complementing the T-cell receptor-MHC/peptide complex affinity, which is relatively low compared to antigen-antibody affinity, through a multivalent interaction. The application of MHC multimer technology has expanded to include various functions such as quantification and analysis of antigen-specific T cells, cell sorting, depletion, stimulation to replace antigen-presenting cells, and single-cell classification through DNA barcodes. This review aims to provide the latest knowledge of MHC multimer technology, which is constantly evolving, broaden understanding of this technology, and promote its widespread use.
- Antigen-specific T cells
- MHC multimer