Migratory and lymphoid-resident dendritic cells cooperate to efficiently prime naive CD4 T cells

Immunity. 2008 Nov 14;29(5):795-806. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2008.08.013. Epub 2008 Oct 23.


To initiate an adaptive immune response, rare antigen-specific naive CD4(+) T cells must interact with equally rare dendritic cells (DCs) bearing cognate peptide-major histocompatibility complex (MHC) complexes. Lymph nodes (LNs) draining the site of antigen entry are populated by lymphoid-resident DCs as well as DCs that have immigrated from tissues, although the requirement for each population in initiating the T cell response remains unclear. Here, we show that antigen processing and presentation by both lymphoid-resident and migratory DCs was required for clonal selection and expansion of CD4(+) T cells after subcutaneous immunization. Early antigen presentation by lymphoid-resident DCs initiated activation and trapping of antigen-specific T cells in the draining LN, without sufficing for clonal expansion. Migratory DCs, however, interacted with the CD4(+) T cells retained in the LN to induce proliferation. Therefore, distinct DC subsets cooperate to alert and trap the appropriate cell and then license its expansion and differentiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Cell Communication
  • Cell Movement
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Dendritic Cells / metabolism
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Lymph Nodes / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Ovalbumin / immunology


  • Ovalbumin