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Immunol Rev. 2007 Oct;219:143-56.

Phagocytosis and antigen presentation in dendritic cells.

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1
Institut Curie, INSERM U653, Immunité et Cancer, Paris, France.

Abstract

Like macrophages and neutrophils, dendritic cells (DCs) are considered professional phagocytes. Even if the three cell types phagocytose parasites, bacteria, cell debris, or even intact cells very efficiently, the functional outcomes of the phagocytic event are quite different. Macrophages and neutrophils scavenge and destroy phagocytosed particles, a critical step in innate immunity. DCs, in contrast, have developed means to 'preserve' useful information from the ingested particles that serve to initiate adaptive immune responses. Thus, both phagosomal degradation and acidification are much lower in DCs than in macrophages or neutrophils. Reduced degradation results in the conservation of antigenic peptides and in their increased presentation on major histocompatibility complex class I and II molecules. In this article, we review the mechanisms that control this delicate equilibrium between phagosomal degradation/cytotoxicity and antigen presentation in the different families of phagocytes.

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