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Int Immunol. 2006 Dec;18(12):1647-54. Epub 2006 Oct 11.

Efficiency of peptide presentation by dendritic cells compared with other cell types: implications for cross-priming.

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Department of Dermatology, Charité, University Medicine Berlin, Humboldt University, Schumannstrasse 20/21, D-10117 Berlin, Germany.


Dendritic cells (DCs) play a key role in the induction of cellular immune responses by harvesting antigens from peripheral tissue for cross-priming CD8(+) T cells. It has been demonstrated that apoptotic bodies, whole- or degraded-cell-associated or soluble antigens as well as heat shock protein-bound peptides can be taken up, processed and cross-presented by DCs. Since cells are continuously releasing peptides from their surface MHC molecules, DCs in the tissues are exposed to such peptides and might process and present them to T cells as an additional pathway for cross-priming. To investigate this possibility, we compared and characterized the presentation of exogenous peptides by DCs and other cell types employing novel recombinant antibodies with TCR-like specificities for specific peptide-MHC complexes (pMHCs). These analyses reveal that loading of immature and mature DCs with peptide is far less efficient than it is for monocytes, T and B lymphocytes, B-lymphoblastoid, melanoma and TAP-deficient T2 cells. This inefficiency of peptide transfer to the MHC molecules of DCs makes it unlikely that these cells recycle peptides released from the MHC molecules of other cells and may explain why cross-presentation of such peptides has not yet been observed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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