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Eur J Immunol. 1993 Sep;23(9):2358-64.

A mouse aminopeptidase N is a marker for antigen-presenting cells and appears to be co-expressed with major histocompatibility complex class II molecules.

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Institute of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Panum Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


To analyze the expression of mouse aminopeptidase N (APN) on the cells of the immune system a panel of rat monoclonal antibodies against mouse intestinal APN was generated. These antibodies were used to affinity purify functional mouse APN from both intestine and kidney, and by flow cytometry to examine the APN expression of the cells of the mouse immune system. An APN closely related, perhaps identical, to the intestinal APN was expressed on a subpopulation of spleen cells and stimulated peritoneal exudate cells, primarily representing antigen-presenting cells, such as B cells, macrophages, dendritic cells, and veiled cells. In contrast this APN expression could not be detected on thymocytes or spleen T cells. As a corollary, APN was expressed on monocyte, macrophage, and B lymphoma cell lines, but not on T hybridoma or thymoma cell lines. The expression of APN showed a striking correlation with the MHC class II expression in all the cell populations studied. This apparent co-expression suggests a role for APN in antigen processing.

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