[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules bind antigenic peptides that are translocated from the cytosol into the endoplasmic reticulum by the transporter associated with antigen processing. MHC class I loading independent of this transporter also exists and involves peptides derived from exogenously acquired antigens. Thus far, a detailed characterization of the intracellular compartments involved in this pathway is lacking. In the present study, we have used the model system in which peptides derived from measles virus protein F are presented to cytotoxic T cells by B-lymphoblastoid cells that lack the peptide transporter. Inhibition of T cell activation by the lysosomotropic drug ammoniumchloride indicated that endocytic compartments were involved in the class I presentation of this antigen. Using immunoelectron microscopy, we demonstrate that class I molecules and virus protein F co-localized in multivesicular endosomes and lysosomes. Surprisingly, these compartments expressed high levels of class II molecules, and further characterization identified them as MHC class II compartments. In addition, we show that class I molecules co-localized with class II molecules on purified exosomes, the internal vesicles of multivesicular endosomes that are secreted upon fusion of these endosomes with the plasma membrane. Finally, dendritic cells, crucial for the induction of primary immune responses, also displayed class I in endosomes and on exosomes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Follicular dendritic cells (FDCs) present in lymphoid follicles play a critical role in germinal center reactions. They trap native Ags in the form of immune complexes providing a source for continuous stimulation of specific B lymphocytes. FDCs have been reported to express MHC class II molecules, suggesting an additional role in the presentation of not only native, but also processed Ag in the form of peptide-loaded MHC class II. Adoptive bone marrow transfer experiments have shown that MHC class II molecules are only passively acquired. Up to now the origin of these MHC class II molecules was not clear. Here we show by cryoimmunogold electron microscopy that MHC class II molecules are not present at the plasma membrane of FDCs. In contrast, microvesicles attached to the FDC surface contain MHC class II and other surface proteins not expressed by FDCs themselves. The size and marker profiles of these microvesicles resemble exosomes. Exosomes, which are secreted internal vesicles from multivesicular endosomes, have been shown earlier to stimulate proliferation of specific T lymphocytes in vitro, but their target in vivo remained a matter of speculation. We demonstrate here that isolated exosomes in vitro bind specifically to FDCs and not to other cell types, suggesting that FDCs might be a physiological target for exosomes.
The Journal of Immunology 09/2000; 165(3):1259-65. · 5.52 Impact Factor