Antigen Presentation in Extracellular Matrix: Interactions of T Cells With Dendritic Cells Are Dynamic, Short Lived, and Sequential

Immunity. 2000 Sep;13(3):323-32. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(00)00032-7.


Cognate interactions of naive T cells with antigen-presenting dendritic cells require physical cell-cell contacts leading to signal induction and T cell activation. Using a three-dimensional collagen matrix videomicroscopy model for ovalbumin peptide-specific activation of murine and oxidative mitogenesis of human T cells, we show that T cells maintain vigorous migration upon cognate interactions to DC (dendritic cell), continuously crawl across the DC surface, and rapidly detach (median within 6-12 min). These dynamic and short-lived encounters favor sequential contacts with the same or other DC and trigger calcium influx, upregulation of activation markers, T blast formation, and proliferation. We conclude that a tissue environment supports the accumulation of sequential signals, implicating a numeric or "digital" control mechanism for an ongoing primary immune response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation / immunology*
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / cytology
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / immunology
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / metabolism
  • Bone Marrow Cells / cytology
  • Bone Marrow Cells / immunology
  • Bone Marrow Cells / metabolism
  • Calcium Signaling / immunology
  • Cell Adhesion / immunology
  • Cell Aggregation / immunology
  • Cell Communication / immunology*
  • Cell Movement / immunology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Collagen / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Dendritic Cells / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix / immunology*
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microscopy, Video
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Time Factors


  • Collagen