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Nat Immunol. 2004 Jun;5(6):615-22. Epub 2004 May 23.

'Educated' dendritic cells act as messengers from memory to naive T helper cells.

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  • 1Ghost Lab, Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Ingested antigens lead to the generation of effector T cells that secrete interleukin 4 (IL-4) rather than interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and are capable of influencing naive T cells in their immediate environment to do the same. Using chimeric mice generated by aggregation of two genotypically different embryos, we found that the conversion of a naive T cell occurs only if it can interact with the same antigen-presenting cell, although not necessarily the same antigen, as the effector T cell. Using a two-step culture system in vitro, we found that antigen-presenting dendritic cells can act as 'temporal bridges' to relay information from orally immunized memory CD4 T cells to naive CD4 T cells. The orally immunized T cells use IL-4 and IL-10 (but not CD40 ligand) to 'educate' dendritic cells, which in turn induce naive T cells to produce the same cytokines as those produced by the orally immunized memory T cells.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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