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Blood. 2004 Nov 15;104(10):3257-66. Epub 2004 Jul 29.

Endocytosis, intracellular sorting, and processing of exosomes by dendritic cells.

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  • 1Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. morelli@imap.pitt.edu.

Abstract

Exosomes are nanovesicles released by leukocytes and epithelial cells. Although their function remains enigmatic, exosomes are a source of antigen and transfer functional major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-I/peptide complexes to dendritic cells (DCs) for CD8(+) T-cell activation. Here we demonstrate that exosomes also are internalized and processed by immature DCs for presentation to CD4(+) T cells. Endocytosed exosomes are sorted into the endocytic compartment of DCs for processing, followed by loading of exosome-derived peptides in MHC-II molecules for presentation to CD4(+) T cells. Targeting of exosomes to DCs is mediated via milk fat globule (MFG)-E8/lactadherin, CD11a, CD54, phosphatidylserine, and the tetraspanins CD9 and CD81 on the exosome and alpha(v)/beta(3) integrin, and CD11a and CD54 on the DCs. Circulating exosomes are internalized by DCs and specialized phagocytes of the spleen and by hepatic Kupffer cells. Internalization of blood-borne allogeneic exosomes by splenic DCs does not affect DC maturation and is followed by loading of the exosome-derived allopeptide IEalpha(52-68) in IA(b) by host CD8alpha(+) DCs for presentation to CD4(+) T cells. These data imply that exosomes present in circulation or extracellular fluids constitute an alternative source of self- or allopeptides for DCs during maintenance of peripheral tolerance or initiation of the indirect pathway of allorecognition in transplantation.

PMID:
15284116
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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