NIH Tetramer Core Facility

The NIH Tetramer Core Facility provides MHC Class I and Class II tetramer reagents to the research community worldwide.

The NIH Tetramer Facility is supported by contract HHSN272201300006C from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a component of the National Institutes of Health in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Our Facility

Purpose   The NIH Tetramer Core Facility (TCF) at Emory University was established in 1999 for the production and distribution to the research community of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) tetramers and related reagents for the detection of T cell responses to viruses, bacteria, parasites, tumors, auto-antigens, and other model antigens. The TCF is funded by contract HHSN272201300006C via the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Reagents are provided to qualified investigators at no cost, except for cases where the investigator is asked to provide the TCF with peptide or other appropriate ligands. Investigators are not required to have an NIH grant, and they are not required to be based in the US.

Why Tetramers?

T cells play essential effector and regulatory roles in adaptive immune responses to viruses, bacteria, parasites, tumors, transplanted tissues, allergens and even to self antigens. Antigen-specific T cell responses can be detected by functional assays—e.g. lymphoproliferation assays, cytotoxic T cell assays using chromium release, and cytokine production assays such as the ELISpot assay and intracellular cytokine staining—or by antigen-binding methods.


  • The NIH Tetramer Core Facility is pleased to announce that we are now accepting orders for human and mouse MR1 tetramers. Please visit the MR1 order page to complete an official order for your MR1 tetramers. Placing an order there is required, even if you had previously requested to be put on the MR1 distribution list. The order page contains significantly more information about our MR1 tetramer reagents.

    MR1 requests are subject to the same review schedule as all other reagent requests. The review schedule for the Tetramer Resource Committee can be found at

    All clients of the TCF are required to fill out a new Material Transfer Agreement (MTA).  The MTA can be downloaded at