CD169+ macrophages at the crossroads of antigen presentation

Trends Immunol. 2012 Feb;33(2):66-70. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2011 Dec 21.


CD169(+) macrophages have fascinated immunologists because of their unique distribution in secondary lymphoid organs, redistribution upon immune activation and, lately, because of their contribution to antigen handling. Their association with B cell follicles prompted early studies on their involvement in B cell activation, and recent work has unveiled an unexpected role in facilitating activation of other lymphocyte subsets, such as invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells. New data also argue that CD169(+) macrophages activate CD8 T cells in response to dead cell-associated antigens in lymph nodes and by transferring antigen to dendritic cells (DCs) in the spleen. Understanding the role of CD169(+) macrophages in the activation of acquired immunity could benefit the design of vaccination strategies, for example those aimed at eliciting cytotoxic T cells.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / immunology*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / immunology
  • Receptors, Immunologic / immunology
  • Sialic Acid Binding Ig-like Lectin 1


  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • SIGLEC1 protein, human
  • Sialic Acid Binding Ig-like Lectin 1