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J Immunol. 2002 Dec 15;169(12):6733-42.

Macrophages and dendritic cells use the cytosolic pathway to rapidly cross-present antigen from live, vaccinia-infected cells.

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  • 1Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA 19111, USA.


Professional APCs (pAPC) can process and present on their own MHC class I molecules Ags acquired from Ag donor cells (ADC). This phenomenon of cross-presentation is essential in the induction of CD8(+) T cell responses to viruses that do not infect pAPC and possibly contributes to the induction of CD8(+) responses to many other viruses. However, little is known about the mechanisms underlying this process. In this study, we show that dendritic cells and macrophages cross-present a model Ag supplied by vaccinia virus-infected ADC via the cytosolic route. Strikingly, we also found that cross-presentation of Ags provided by vaccinia-infected cells occurs within a couple of hours of pAPC/ADC interaction, that the duration of cross-presentation lasts for only 16 h, and that cross-presentation can occur at early times of infection when the ADC are still alive.

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