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J Immunol. 1991 Jan 15;146(2):449-56.

Weak base amines can inhibit class I MHC-restricted antigen presentation.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115.


This report describes the effects of NH4Cl, CH3NH2, and chloroquine on class I and II MHC-restricted Ag presentation. OVA-specific T-T hybridomas were used to detect processed OVA in association with class I, H-2Kb, and class II, I-Ad/b, molecules on a B lymphoblastoid APC. OVA, internalized by APC under hypertonic conditions, was presented in association with class I and II MHC molecules. Treating the APC with NH4Cl or CH3NH2 inhibited class I- and II-restricted Ag presentation. In contrast, chloroquine markedly inhibited class II, but not class I-restricted Ag presentation. Controls indicated that drug-treated APC were fully competent to interact with T cells and present processing-independent antigenic peptides in association with both class I and II MHC molecules. NH4Cl and CH3NH2 did not inhibit the uptake of radiolabeled Ag by the APC. After the proteolytic removal of H-2Kb from the surface of APC, NH4Cl and CH3NH2-treated and control APC regenerated identical amounts of surface H-2Kb and this regeneration required de novo protein synthesis. These latter results indicate that NH4Cl and CH3NH2 can inhibit Ag presentation without affecting the synthesis, transport, or surface expression of H-2Kb. Also, NH4Cl did not affect the transport of H-2Db to the surface of mutant RMA-S cells that were cultured with exogenous peptides. Taken together these results strongly suggest that NH4Cl and CH3NH2 but not chloroquine can inhibit a critical and early intracellular step in class I-restricted Ag presentation while simultaneously inhibiting class II-restricted Ag presentation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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