Cutting edge: limited specialization of dendritic cell subsets for MHC class II-associated presentation of viral particles.
Keller SA., Bauer M., Manolova V., Muntwiler S., Saudan P., Bachmann MF.
Dendritic cells (DCs) are the most important APC. It was recently reported that there is a dichotomy for Ag presentation by DC subsets; exogenous Ags reach the MHC class I pathway, but not the MHC class II pathway, in CD8(+) DCs, whereas CD8(-) DCs only process Ags for the MHC class II pathway. In this study, we used virus-like particles (VLPs) to show that CD8(+) and CD8(-) DCs efficiently capture and process VLPs for presentation in association with MHC class II in vivo. In contrast, CD8(+) DCs, but not CD8(-) DCs, cross presented VLP-derived peptides. This pattern was changed in an FcgammaR-dependent fashion in the presence of VLP-specific Abs, because under those conditions both DC subsets failed to efficiently cross present. Thus, the presentation of viral particles to CD4(+) T cells is not restricted to distinct DC subsets, whereas the presentation of viral particles to CD8(+) T cells is limited to CD8(+) DCs.