Antigen transmission by replicating antigen-bearing dendritic cells

Jun Diao, Erin Winter, Wenhao Chen, Feng Xu, Mark S. Cattral

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


During steady-state conditions, conventional spleen dendritic cells (DC) turn over every 2-3 days. Recent evidence indicates that in situ proliferation of DC arising from immediate conventional DC precursors is an important contributor to their homeostasis. In this study, we report that replication-competent conventional DC precursors and DC can internalize and transfer model particulate and soluble Ags directly to their DC progeny during cell division. Real-time confocal microscopy and flow cytometry indicated that Ag transmission to progeny was symmetrical, and suggested that other mechanisms of inter-DC Ag transfer were not involved. Soluble protein Ags inherited by DC progeny were presented effectively to Ag-specific T lymphocytes. Furthermore, we show that the number of DC, and the proportion that are actively proliferating, expands several-fold during an immune response against a viral infection. Our results point to an unanticipated mechanism in which DC are continuously replaced from Ag-bearing replication-competent precursor cells that pass Ag molecules onto their progeny through successive cell divisions. Our findings help explain how Ag may persist in a population of DC despite the brief lifespan of individual mature DC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2713-2721
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Antigen transmission by replicating antigen-bearing dendritic cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this