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J Immunol. 2004 Sep 15;173(6):4058-65.

Salmonella escape from antigen presentation can be overcome by targeting bacteria to Fc gamma receptors on dendritic cells.

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Departamento de Genética Molecular y Microbiología, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are professional APCs with the unique ability to activate naive T cells, which is required for initiation of the adaptive immune response against pathogens. Therefore, interfering with DC function would be advantageous for pathogen survival and dissemination. In this study we provide evidence suggesting that Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium, the causative agent of typhoid disease in the mouse, interferes with DC function. Our results indicate that by avoiding lysosomal degradation, S. typhimurium impairs the ability of DCs to present bacterial Ags on MHC class I and II molecules to T cells. This process could correspond to a novel mechanism developed by this pathogen to evade adaptive immunity. In contrast, when S. typhimurium is targeted to FcgammaRs on DCs by coating bacteria with Salmonella-specific IgG, bacterial Ags are efficiently processed and presented on MHC class I and class II molecules. This enhanced Ag presentation leads to a robust activation of bacteria-specific T cells. Laser confocal microscopy experiments show that virulent S. typhimurium is rerouted to the lysosomal degradation pathway of DCs when internalized through FcgammaR. These observations are supported by electron microscopy studies demonstrating that internalized S. typhimurium shows degradation signs only when coated with IgG and captured by FcgammaRs on DCs. Therefore, our data support a potential role for bacteria-specific IgG on the augmentation of Ag processing and presentation by DCs to T cells during the immune response against intracellular bacteria.

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