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Eur J Immunol. 2000 Jan;30(1):185-96.

Induction of optimal anti-viral neutralizing B cell responses by dendritic cells requires transport and release of virus particles in secondary lymphoid organs.

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1
Institute of Experimental Immunology, Zürich, Switzerland. Ludewigb@pathol.unizh.ch

Abstract

Dendritic cells (DC) are sentinels of the immune system, transporting antigens from the periphery to secondary lymphoid organs. This study investigates the interactions of DC with B cells for the induction of anti-viral neutralizing antibody responses. Using the vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein (VSV-G) as a model antigen, we show that DC contain infection with cytopathic VSV in the presence of a functional IFN system, facilitating transport and release of low levels of live virus in secondary lymphoid organs. DC exposed to live virus induced efficient neutralizing anti-viral B cell responses. In contrast, DC transporting UV-inactivated viral antigens were poor activators of anti-viral B cells, although they were capable of very efficiently inducing virus-specific Th cells. Transgenic DC expressing a membrane-bound form of VSV-G induced neutralizing B cell responses; however, this DC-induced, Th-dependent B cell response was significantly slower than the anti-viral B cell response induced by DC infected with live VSV, and was strongly dependent on concomitant priming of T help. These results suggest that DC may play a double role during infection with cytopathic virus: they transport and release live virus in secondary lymphoid tissues for optimal direct B cell induction and offer MHC class II-associated determinants for induction of T help.

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