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Nat Immunol. 2002 May;3(5):477-82. Epub 2002 Apr 15.

A neuronal receptor, neuropilin-1, is essential for the initiation of the primary immune response.

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Institut Cochin, Departement d'Hematologie, INSERM U567, CNRS UMR 8104, Paris, France.

Erratum in

  • Nat Immunol. 2003 Apr;4(4):394..


The initiation of a primary immune response requires contact between dendritic cells (DCs) and resting T cells. However, little is known about the proteins that mediate this initial contact. We show here that neuropilin-1, a receptor involved in axon guidance, was expressed by human DCs and resting T cells both in vitro and in vivo. The initial contact between DCs and resting T cells led to neuropilin-1 polarization on T cells. DCs and resting T cells specifically bound soluble neuropilin-1, and resting T cells formed clusters with neuropilin-1-transfected COS-7 cells in a neuropilin-1-dependent manner. Functionally, preincubation of DCs or resting T cells with blocking neuropilin-1 antibodies inhibited DC-induced proliferation of resting T cells. These data suggest that neuropilin-1 mediates interactions between DCs and T cells that are essential for initiation of the primary immune response and show parallels between the nervous and immune systems.

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