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J Autoimmun. 1997 Apr;10(2):107-13.

Involvement of peritoneal dendritic cells in the induction of autoimmune prostatitis.

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Inmunología, Departamento de Bioquímica Clínica, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina.


We have been working within a model of autoimmune prostatitis induced by the intraperitoneal administration of saline extract of rat male accessory glands (RAG) associated to liposomes. The intraperitoneal administration of RAG-liposomes elicits both primary and secondary cellular autoimmune responses to RAG as well as organ-specific lesions. To evaluate the participation of dendritic cells (DC) in the induction of the autoimmune response, we purified peritoneal DC (PDC) after a single injection of RAG-liposomes and we characterized this population by morphology and phenotype. Based on adherence and morphologic criteria, we determined that PDC comprised approximately 1% of the total peritoneal cells. The ultrastructure of the dendritic cell enriched fraction was assessed by electron microscopy. By FACS analysis, PDC showed a two to three-fold increase in expression of the IA molecule compared to macrophages. They expressed low but positive levels of the CD14 marker, and intermediate levels of both CD11b (Mac-1) and CD54 (ICAM-1) adhesion molecules. In addition, PDC transferred either intravenously or intraperitoneally efficiently elicited the autoimmune response to RAG in normal receptors. These results support the involvement of peritoneal dendritic cells in the induction of autoimmune prostatitis, modifying the idea of macrophages as the single antigen presenting cell in the peritoneal cavity.

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