Efficient presentation of exogenous antigen by liver endothelial cells to CD8+ T cells results in antigen-specific T-cell tolerance

Nat Med. 2000 Dec;6(12):1348-54. doi: 10.1038/82161.


Myeloid antigen-presenting cells (APC) are known to cross-present exogenous antigen on major histocompatibility class I molecules to CD8+ T cells and thereby induce protective immunity against infecting microorganisms. Here we report that liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSEC) are organ-resident, non-myeloid APC capable of cross-presenting soluble exogenous antigen to CD8+ T cells. Though LSEC employ similar molecular mechanisms for cross-presentation as dendritic cells, the outcome of cross-presentation by LSEC is CD8+ T cell tolerance rather than immunity. As uptake of circulating antigens into LSEC occurs efficiently in vivo, it is likely that cross-presentation by LSEC contributes to CD8+ T cell tolerance observed in situations where soluble antigen is present in the circulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation*
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells
  • Antigens / immunology
  • Bone Marrow Cells / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Endothelium / cytology
  • Endothelium / immunology*
  • Immune Tolerance*
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred CBA
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Ovalbumin / immunology


  • Antigens
  • Ovalbumin