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J Cell Sci. 1993 Nov;106 ( Pt 3):937-40.

Co-localization of class II antigen and exogenous antigen in the rat enterocyte.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA.


The role of class II major histocompatibility antigens in classical antigen-presenting cells has been described (Unanue (1984) Annu. Rev. Immunol. 2, 395-428; Watts and McConnell (1987) Rev. Immunol. 5, 461-475). Whether enterocytes, which also express class II antigens, can act as antigen-presenting cells in vivo is not known. One pre-requisite for a role for enterocytes in antigen presentation is an interaction between exogenous antigen and class II antigens. Our results demonstrate that class II antigen and exogenous antigen absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract are co-localized within endocytic compartments and along the basolateral membranes of enterocytes.

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