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Free Radic Biol Med. 1999 Jan;26(1-2):232-8.

Reactive oxygen species activate human peripheral blood dendritic cells.

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Immunology Department, Windeyer Institute of Medical Sciences, University College London, UK.


This study investigates the effects of hydrogen peroxide, a potent oxygen free radical donor, on the phenotype and function of dendritic cells differentiated from peripheral blood precursors. We report that hydrogen peroxide induces an up-regulation of several dendritic cell surface markers involved in interaction with T cells, including MHC Class II molecules (DQ and DR) and the co-stimulatory molecules CD40 and CD86. Moreover we have observed that H2O2-treated dendritic cells are more efficient in promoting T cell proliferation than normal dendritic cells and that this enhancement can be blocked using the free radical scavenger agent N-acetylcysteine. Oxygen free radicals are a common by-product of inflammation, and our results suggest they may play an important role in activation of sentinel dendritic cells, linking tissue damage to the initiation of an adaptive immune response.

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