Dendritic cells present an intracellular viral antigen derived from apoptotic cells and induce a T-cell response

Scand J Immunol. 2002 Sep;56(3):254-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-3083.2002.01125.x.


We investigated if dendritic cells (DCs) were able to present intracellularly located antigens derived from apoptotic cells to T cells, thereby inducing a CD4+ and a CD8+ response. A transfected cell line with the cytomegalovirus-derived protein pp65 was triggered to go into apoptosis by ultraviolet B (UVB) irradiation, and after the uptake of apoptotic cells by DC, the activation and proliferation of T cells were determined. We found that DC efficiently phagocytosed apoptotic cells and induced a CD4+ and a CD8+ T-cell response specific for the viral protein pp65. This mechanism can be useful for vaccination studies to induce an antiviral immune response.

MeSH terms

  • Antigen Presentation*
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology*
  • Apoptosis*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytoplasm / virology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Jurkat Cells
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Phagocytosis
  • Phosphoproteins / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology
  • Viral Matrix Proteins / immunology


  • Antigens, Viral
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Viral Matrix Proteins
  • cytomegalovirus matrix protein 65kDa