Distinct dendritic cell populations sequentially present antigen to CD4 T cells and stimulate different aspects of cell-mediated immunity

Immunity. 2003 Jul;19(1):47-57. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(03)00175-4.


Peptide:MHC II complexes derived from a fluorescent antigen were detected in vivo to identify the cells that present subcutaneously injected antigen to CD4 T cells. Skin-derived dendritic cells (DCs) that acquired the antigen while in the draining lymph nodes were the first cells to display peptide:MHC II complexes. Presentation by these cells induced CD69, IL-2 production, and maximal proliferation by the T cells. Later, DCs displaying peptide:MHC II complexes migrated from the injection site via a G protein-dependent mechanism. Presentation by these migrants sustained expression of the IL-2 receptor and promoted delayed type hypersensitivity. Therefore, presentation of peptide:MHC II complexes derived from a subcutaneous antigen occurs in two temporally distinct waves with different functional consequences.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Movement
  • Dendritic Cells / physiology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / metabolism
  • Hypersensitivity, Delayed / etiology
  • Lymph Nodes
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Pertussis Toxin / pharmacology


  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Pertussis Toxin