Antigen Processing Capacity of Dendritic Cells from Mice of Different MHC Backgrounds: Down-Regulation upon Culture and Evidence for Heterogeneity of Dendritic Cell Populations

  • Franz Koch
  • Bettina Trockenbacher
  • Gerold Schuler
  • Nikolaus Romani
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 378)


Dendritic cells (DC) are highly specialized to initiate primary immune responses.1 They exhibit the necessary properties for this task at different stages of their lifespan. In an immature state, while resident in the tissues, they are very efficient in processing native protein antigens and thus generating MHC class II/peptide ligands for the antigen-specific T cell receptors. After undergoing a maturation process they acquire the adhesion molecules and costimulatory molecules necessary for the powerful stimulation of resting T cells2–4 and they greatly reduce the capacity to process native proteins.5–9 At the cellular level the decrease of processing activity in maturing DC was correlated with the disappearance of acidic, endosomal organelles and with the loss of invariant chain expression (reviewed in1). Furthermore it was shown that biosynthesis of MHC class II and invariant chain molecules is massive at a time when processing activity is high (i.e. in freshly isolated Langerhans cells); upon culture biosynthesis of both molecules is largely shut down (reviewed in1). These cellular and molecular observations may explain the down-regulation of processing.


Dendritic Cell Mature Dendritic Cell Invariant Chain Primary Immune Response Dendritic Cell Population 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    R.M. Steinman, The dendritic cell system and its role in immunogenicity, Annu. Rev. Immunol 9:271 (1991).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    G. Schuler and R.M. Steinman, Murine epidermal Langerhans cells mature into potent immunostimulatory dendritic cells in vitro,.J. Exp. Med. 161:526 (1985).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    N. Romani, A. Lenz, H. Glassel, H. Stössel, U. Stanzl, O. Majdic, P. Fritsch, and G. Schuler, Cultured human Langerhans cells resemble lymphoid dendritic cells in phenotype and function, J. Invest. Dermatol. 93:600(1989).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    U. O’Doherty, R.M. Steinman, M. Peng, P.U. Cameron, S. Gezelter, I. Kopeloff, W.J. Swiggard, M. Pope, and N. Bhardwaj, Dendritic cells freshly isolated from human blood express CD4 and mature into typical immunostimulatory dendritic cells after culture in monocyte-conditioned medium, J. Exp. Med. 178:1067(1993).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    N. Romani, S. Koide, M. Crowley, M. Witmer-Pack, A.M. Livingstone, C.G. Fathman, K. Inaba, and R.M. Steinman, Presentation of exogenous protein antigens by dendritic cells to T cell clones: intact protein is presented best by immature epidermal Langerhans cells. J. Exp. Med. 169:1169 (1989).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    E. Pure, K. Inaba, M.T. Crowley, L. Tardelli, M.D. Witmer-Pack, G. Ruberti, G. Fathman, and R.M.Steinman, Antigen processing by epidermal Langerhans cells correlates with the level of biosynthesis of major histocompatibility complex class II molecules and expression of invariant chain, J. Exp. Med. 172:1459(1990).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    G. Girolomoni, J.C. Simon, P.R. Bergstresser, and P.D. Cruz, Jr. Freshly isolated spleen dendritic cells and epidermal Langerhans cells undergo similar phenotypic and functional changes during short term culture, J. Immunol. 145:2820(1990).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    M.T. Crowley, K. Inaba, M.D. Witmer-Pack, S. Gezelter, and R.M. Steinman, Use of the fluorescence activated cell sorter to enrich dendritic cells from mouse spleen, J. Immunol. Methods 133:55 (1990).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    J.W. Streilein and S.F. Grammer, In vitro evidence that Langerhans cells can adopt two functionally distinct forms capable of antigen presentation to T lymphocytes, J. Immunol. 143:3925 (1989).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    C. Hauser and S.I. Katz, Activation and expansion of hapten-and protein-specific T helper cells from nonsensitized mice, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 85:5625 (1988).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    U.S. Shimada, S.W. Caughman, S.O. Sharrow, D. Stephany, and S.I. Katz, Enhanced antigen-presenting capacity of cultured Langerhans’ cells is associated with markedly increased expression of la antigen, J. Immunol. 139:2551 (1987).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    S. Aiba and S.I. Katz, The ability of cultured Langerhans cells to process and present antigens is MHC-dependent, J. Immunol. 146:2479 (1991).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    M.L.H. De Bruijn, J.D. Nieland, C.V. Harding, and C.J.M. Melief, Processing and presentation of intact hen egg-white lysozyme by dendritic cells, Eur. J. Immunol 22:2347 (1992).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    L.M. Liu and G.G. MacPherson, Antigen acquisition by dendritic cells: Intestinal dendritic cells acquire antigen administered orally and can prime naive T cells in vivo, J. Exp. Med. 177:1299 (1993).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Franz Koch
    • 1
  • Bettina Trockenbacher
    • 1
  • Gerold Schuler
    • 1
  • Nikolaus Romani
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of DermatologyUniversity of InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria

Personalised recommendations