Dendritic cells resurrect antigens from dead cells

Trends Immunol. 2001 Mar;22(3):141-8. doi: 10.1016/s1471-4906(01)01860-9.


Antigens that do not normally access the cytoplasm of antigen-presenting cells, such as certain tumor and viral antigens, become targets of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). Over the past 25 years, substantial evidence has emerged for an 'exogenous' pathway for loading MHC class I molecules. Dendritic cells are potent stimulators of T-cell responses and can induce CD8(+) CTLs by phagocytosis of dead tumor or virus-infected cells. Here, Marie Larsson and colleagues discuss the role of dendritic cells in stimulating MHC class I-restricted T-cell responses by exogenous routes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation / immunology*
  • Antigens / immunology
  • Autoimmunity / immunology
  • Cell Death
  • Cross Reactions
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance / immunology
  • Models, Immunological
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Viruses / immunology


  • Antigens
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I