Migratory dendritic cells transfer antigen to a lymph node-resident dendritic cell population for efficient CTL priming

Immunity. 2006 Jul;25(1):153-62. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2006.04.017.


Skin dendritic cells (DCs) are thought to act as key initiators of local T cell immunity. Here we show that after skin infection with herpes simplex virus (HSV), cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) activation required MHC class I-restricted presentation by nonmigratory CD8(+) DCs rather than skin-derived DCs. Despite a lack of direct presentation by migratory DCs, blocking their egress from infected skin substantially inhibited class I-restricted presentation and HSV-specific CTL responses. These results support the argument for initial transport of antigen by migrating DCs, followed by its transfer to the lymphoid-resident DCs for presentation and CTL priming. Given that relatively robust CTL responses were seen with small numbers of skin-emigrant DCs, we propose that this inter-DC antigen transfer functions to amplify presentation across a larger network of lymphoid-resident DCs for efficient T cell activation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens / immunology*
  • Bone Marrow / immunology
  • Cell Movement*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cross-Priming*
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology*
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Herpes Simplex / immunology
  • Herpes Simplex / virology
  • Lymph Nodes / cytology*
  • Lymph Nodes / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Simplexvirus / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*


  • Antigens