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The ability of human keratinocytes to present antigen to T cells is controversial and, indeed, it has been suggested that keratinocytes may promote T cell hyporesponsiveness. Furthermore, it is unclear whether keratinocytes can process antigen prior to MHC class I and class II presentation. We tested the ability of keratinocytes to induce functional responses in epitope-specific CD4+ and CD8+ memory T cells using peptides, protein and recombinant expression vectors as sources of antigen. Keratinocytes were able to efficiently process and present protein antigen to CD4+ T cells, resulting in cytokine secretion (Th1 and Th2). This interaction was dependent on keratinocyte expression of HLA class II and ICAM-1, which could be induced by IFN-gamma. In addition, keratinocytes could present virally encoded or exogenous peptide to CD8+ T cells, resulting in T cell cytokine production and target cell lysis. Finally, T cell lines grown using keratinocytes as stimulators showed no loss of function. These findings demonstrate that keratinocytes are able to efficiently process and present antigen to CD4+ and CD8+ memory T cells and induce functional responses. The findings have broad implications for the pathogenesis of cutaneous disease and for transcutaneous drug or vaccine delivery.

Type

Journal article

Journal

European journal of immunology

Publication Date

06/2007

Volume

37

Pages

1485 - 1493

Addresses

MRC Human Immunology Unit, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK.

Keywords

B-Lymphocytes, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Cells, Cultured, Cell Line, Cell Line, Transformed, Keratinocytes, Humans, Parvovirus, Cysteine Endopeptidases, Oligopeptides, Trans-Activators, Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1, Lymphocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1, Receptors, Interferon, Phosphoproteins, Viral Proteins, Antigens, CD80, Interleukin-4, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Antigens, Dermatophagoides, Histocompatibility Antigens Class I, HLA-D Antigens, Cytotoxicity, Immunologic, Antigen Presentation, Antigens, CD86, Interferon-gamma, Arthropod Proteins