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The response of primed T cells to keyhole limpet haemocyanin (KLH) was used to compare the characteristics of antigen presentation by lymphoid dendritic cells, splenic and peritoneal macrophages. In a similar manner to macrophages, purified dendritic cells could be pulsed with antigen and subsequently fixed by brief glutaraldehyde fixation and still retain antigen presenting activity. Also, as previously reported for macrophages, presentation could be inhibited by chloroquine. These functional experiments suggested that the pathway of antigen presentation in dendritic cells and macrophages was similar or identical. However, biochemical studies, using radiolabelled antigen, showed that dendritic cells do not significantly degrade large proteins such as KLH to TCA-soluble form, but partially hydrolyse them to smaller peptide fragments. The significance of these results in terms of a model of the cellular pathways of antigen presentation is discussed.


Journal article



Publication Date





271 - 276


Animals, Antigen-Presenting Cells, Antigens, Chloroquine, Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic, Glutaral, Hemocyanins, Lymphoid Tissue, Macrophages, Mice, Mice, Inbred CBA, Mitosis, Receptors, Fc, T-Lymphocytes