Glycopeptide specificity of helper T cells obtained in mouse models for rheumatoid arthritis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Five protected analogues of beta-D-galctosyl-(5R)-5-hydroxy-L-lysine were prepared, in which the galactosyl moiety was modified by monodeoxygenation or inversion of stereochemistry at C-4. The building blocks were used in the solid-phase synthesis of a set of glycopeptides related to the peptide fragment CII256-273 from type II collagen. Evaluation of the glycopeptides revealed that T-cell hybridomas obtained in collagen-induced arthiritis (CIA), which is a common mouse model for rheumatoid arthritis, recognized the galactosyl moiety with high specificity for individual hydroxy groups. Moreover, T-cell hybridomas obtained in a humanized variant of CIA were also found to recognize the glycopeptides in an equally carbohydrate-specific manner. The results allowed the generation of models of the complexes formed between the appropriate class II major histocompatibilty complex (MHC) molecule, glycopeptide, and the T-cell receptor, that is, of an interaction that is critical for the stimulation of T cells in the arthiritis models. In the structural models, peptide side chains anchor the glycopeptide in pockets in the class II MHC molecule, whereas the galactosylated hydroxylisine residue forms the key contacts with the T-cell receptor. Importantly, the results also suggest that a T-cell response towards glycopeptide fragments from type II collagen could play an important role in the development of rheumatoid arthiritis in humans.


  • B Holm
  • Johan Bäcklund
  • MAF Recio
  • Rikard Holmdahl
  • J Kihlberg
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Immunology in the medical area


  • solid phase synthesis, rheumatoid arthritis, molecular recognition, glycopeptides, immunology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1209-1222
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Medical Inflammation Research (013212019)