Constitutive versus activation-dependent cross-presentation of immune complexes by CD8(+) and CD8(-) dendritic cells in vivo

Joke M M den Haan, Michael J Bevan

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282 Citations (Scopus)


Murine splenic dendritic cells (DCs) can be divided into two subsets based on CD8alpha expression, but the specific role of each subset in stimulation of T cells is largely unknown. An important function of DCs is the ability to take up exogenous antigens and cross-present them in the context of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules to CD8(+) T cells. We previously demonstrated that, when cell-associated ovalbumin (OVA) is injected into mice, only the CD8(+) DC subset cross-presents OVA in the context of MHC class I. In contrast to this selectivity with cell-associated antigen, we show here that both DC subsets isolated from mice injected with OVA/anti-OVA immune complexes (OVA-IC) cross-present OVA to CD8(+) T cells. The use of immunoglobulin G Fc receptor (Fc(gamma)R) common gamma-chain-deficient mice revealed that the cross-presentation by CD8(-) DCs depended on the expression of gamma-chain-containing activating FcgammaRs, whereas cross-presentation by CD8(+) DCs was not reduced in gamma-chain-deficient mice. These results suggest that although CD8(+) DCs constitutively cross-present exogenous antigens in the context of MHC class I molecules, CD8(-) DCs only do so after activation, such as via ligation of Fc(gamma)Rs. Cross-presentation of immune complexes may play an important role in autoimmune diseases and the therapeutic effect of antitumor antibodies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)817-27
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sept 2002


  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex/metabolism
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/physiology
  • Dendritic Cells/physiology
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Ovalbumin/immunology
  • Receptors, IgG/physiology

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