Activation of human dendritic cells by porcine aortic endothelial cells: transactivation of naïve T cells through costimulation and cytokine generation

Transplantation. 2001 Nov 15;72(9):1563-71. doi: 10.1097/00007890-200111150-00015.


Background: Dendritic cells (DC) are the most potent antigen-presenting cells in the immune system. To define the role of human DC in human anti-porcine immune responses, we defined the interaction of human DC with porcine aortic endothelial cells (PAEC).

Methods: To determine the immune responses, both monocyte-derived and peripheral blood DC were cultured with porcine and human endothelial cells. We analyzed the role of CD11a, CD11b, and CD54 in a cell-to-cell adhesion assay using antibodies against these molecules. The expression pattern of costimulatory molecules (CD40, CD80, CD86), adhesion molecules (CD54), and intracellular cytokines (interleukin-12p70 and tumor necrosis factor [TNF]-alpha) in DC after interaction with endothelial cells was determined by immunofluorescence.

Results: Human DC significantly adhered to PAEC (38-40%), and this adhesion was augmented (>50%) upon treatment with either recombinant swine interferon-gamma or recombinant human TNF-alpha. Addition of human DC to PAEC was blocked by pretreatment of DC with antibodies specific to human leukocyte function-associated antigen-1 or CD54. Adhesion of DC to PAEC also resulted in the activation of DC, which was manifested by up-regulation of costimulatory molecules (CD40, CD80, CD86), adhesion molecules (CD54), and HLA-DR. PAEC-activated human DC provided proliferative signals to the naïve autologous CD4+ T cells and synthesized interleukin-12p70 and TNF-alpha. However, activated DCs failed to lyse PAEC in such interaction.

Conclusion: Human DC effectively adhered to PAEC and were activated by xenoantigen, resulting in highly efficient antigen presentation and proliferation of CD4+ T cells. Further, this interaction of human DC to PAEC is regulated by the participation of costimulatory and adherence molecules and cytokines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology*
  • Antigens, CD / immunology*
  • Aorta
  • CD18 Antigens / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Adhesion / immunology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / immunology
  • Lymph Nodes / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Lymphocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1 / immunology
  • Models, Animal
  • Monocytes / immunology
  • Swine
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Transplantation, Heterologous / immunology
  • Venules / immunology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, CD
  • CD18 Antigens
  • Lymphocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1