To provide a general overview of T-cell epitope mapping and its relevance to physicians practicing allergy/immunology.Data Sources:
The PubMed database was searched for articles published from January 1, 1990, through December 31, 2008, for primary and review articles on T-cell epitope mapping. The keywords searched were CD4 T cell, major histocompatibility complex class II, epitope mapping, methods, and allergen.Study Selection:
Specific articles on commonly used mapping techniques were retrieved, along with articles on the use of epitope mapping in models of allergy.Results:
A synopsis of T-cell epitope mapping, with emphasis on the relevance to allergy is presented.Conclusions:
T-cell epitope mapping studies have already allowed the identification of several major T-cell allergens. Improvement in T-cell epitope mapping techniques and in computer algorithms capable of predicting peptides recognized by CD4 T cells will help refine our understanding of the immune responses to allergens and may also offer the possibility of peptide therapy in the future.