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J Immunol. 2006 Mar 1;176(5):3053-61.

Cryptococcus neoformans glycoantigens are captured by multiple lectin receptors and presented by dendritic cells.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology Training Program, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USA.


Cell-mediated immune responses to glycoantigens have been largely uncharacterized. Protective T cell responses to the pathogenic yeast Cryptococcus neoformans are dependent on heavily mannosylated Ags termed mannoproteins. In the work presented, the innate immune response to mannoprotein was determined. Purified murine splenic dendritic cells (DC), B cells, and macrophages were used to stimulate mannoprotein-specific T cells. Only DC were capable of any measurable stimulation. Depletion of DC resulted in the abrogation of the T cell response. Human and murine DC rapidly captured fluorescent-labeled mannoprotein by a mannose receptor-mediated process. Using transfected cell lines, the type II C-type lectin receptor DC-specific ICAM-3-grabbing nonintegrin (CD209) was determined to have affinity for mannoprotein. Taken together with prior work demonstrating that mannoprotein was captured by the macrophage mannose receptor (CD206), these data suggest that multiple mannose receptors on DC recognize mannoprotein. Pulsing experiments demonstrated that DC captured sufficient mannoprotein over 2 h to account for 50% of total stimulation. Capture appeared dependent on mannose receptors, as competitive mannosylated inhibitors and calcium chelators each interfered with T cell stimulation. By confocal microscopy, intracellular mannoprotein trafficked to an endo-lysosomal compartment in DC, and at later time points extended into tubules in a similar fashion to the degradation marker DQ-OVA. Mannoprotein colocalized intracellularly with CD206 and CD209. These data suggest that DC provide the crucial link between innate and adaptive immune responses to C. neoformans via a process that is dependent upon the efficient uptake of mannoprotein by mannose receptors.

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