A new foreign policy: MHC class I molecules monitor the outside world

Immunol Today. 1996 Mar;17(3):131-7. doi: 10.1016/0167-5699(96)80605-0.


Although most cells exclusively use their major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules to present peptides from endogenous proteins, phagocytes also use them to present exogenous antigens. Here, Kenneth Rock describes how this novel antigen-presenting pathway may play an important role in immune surveillance for intracellular bacteria or parasites, as well as for viral infections and tumors affecting somatic tissues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation*
  • Endocytosis
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / physiology*
  • Humans
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / physiology*


  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I