Endocytic Activity of Dendritic Cells is Similar to Other Antigen Presenting Cells

  • Timothy P. Levine
  • Benjamin M. Chain
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 329)


Antigen processing occurs prior to presentation of an exogenous antigen in association with class II MHC, and requires endocytosis of antigen followed by partial digestion. The intra-cellular pathways taken by antigen and class II may vary between cells, 1 but most evidence suggests that antigen-derived peptides bind class II in organelles related to late endosomes. 2 Antigens enter the endocytic pathway either in the fluid phase or bound to internalized plasma membrane. Processing is enhanced by antigen receptors which are endocytosed from the plasma membrane, examples of which are found on all APC types except dendritic cells: surface immunoglobulin (slg) on B cells, 3 opsonin receptors (FcR/C3R/C4R) on B cells and macrophages4 and scavenger receptors on macrophages. 5 Therefore, endocytosis in dendritic cells occurs by the less efficient means of fluid-phase endocytosis and non-specific membrane absorption. These mechanisms appear to be sufficient to allow processing of at least some exogenous antigens by dendritic cells. 6, 7


Dendritic Cell Antigen Processing Early Endosome Late Endosome Endocytic Pathway 
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.
    F. M. Brodsky, and L. E. Guagliardi, Antigen processing and presentation: close encounters in the endocytic pathway, Trends in Cell. Biol. 2: 109 (1992).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    H. L. Pleogh, and J. J. Neefjes, Intracellular transport of MHC class II molecules, Immunol Today 92: 179 (1992).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    A. Lanzavecchia, Receptor-mediated antigen uptake and its effect on antigen presentation to class II-restricted T lymphocytes, Annu. Rev. Immunol. 8: 773 (1990).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    J. Arvieux, H. Yssel, and M. G. Colomb, Antigen-bound C3b and C4b enhance antigen presenting cell function in activation of human T cell clones, Immunology 65: 229 (1988).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    M. Naito, T. Kodama, A. Matsumoto, T. Doi, and K. Takahashi, Tissue distribution, intracellular localization, and in vitro expression of bovine macrophage scavenger receptors, Am. J. Pathol. 139: 1411 (1991).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    R. Nonacs, C. Humborg, and R. M. Steinman, Stimulation of class I-restricted influenza-specific cytotoxic T cells by dendritic cells, J. Cell. Biochem. 16D: 19 (abstract).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    B. M. Chain, P. M. Kay, and M. Feldmann, The cellular pathway of antigen presentation: biochemical and functional analysis of antigen processing in dendritic cells and macrophages, Immunology 58: 271 (1986).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    M. L. Kapsenberg, M. C. B. M. Teunissen, F. E. M. Stiekema, and H. G. Keizer, Antigen-presenting cell function of dendritic cells and macrophages in proliferative T cell responses to soluble and particulate antigens, Eur. J. Immunol. 16: 345 (1986).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    K. Inaba, J. P. Metlay, M. T. Crowley, and R. M. Steinman, Dendritic cells pulsed with protein antigens in vitro can prime antigen-specific, MHC-restricted T cells in situ, J. Exp. Med. 172: 631 (1990).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    T. P. Levine, and B. M. Chain, Endocytosis by antigen presenting cells: dendritic cells are as endocytically active as other antigen presenting cells, Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. (USA) in press.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    J. A. Swanson, B. D. Yirinec, and S. C. Silverstein, Phorbol esters and horse radish peroxidase stimulate pinocytosis and redirect the flow of pinocytosed fluid in macrophages, J. Cell Biol. 100: 851 (1985).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    R. M. Steinman, The dendritic cell system and its role in immunogenicity, Annu. Rev. Immunol. 9: 271 (1991).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy P. Levine
    • 1
  • Benjamin M. Chain
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Biology, Medawar BuildingUniversity College LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations