The lung vascular filter as a site of immune induction for T cell responses to large embolic antigen

MAM Willart, HJ de Heer, H (Hamida) Hammad, Thomas Soullie, K Deswarte, Björn Clausen, L Boon, Henk Hoogsteden, Bart Lambrecht

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Abstract

The bloodstream is an important route of dissemination of invading pathogens. Most of the small bloodborne pathogens, like bacteria or viruses, are filtered by the spleen or liver sinusoids and presented to the immune system by dendritic cells (DCs) that probe these filters for the presence of foreign antigen (Ag). However, larger pathogens, like helminths or infectious emboli, that exceed 20 mu m are mostly trapped in the vasculature of the lung. To determine if Ag trapped here can be presented to cells of the immune system, we used a model of venous embolism of large particulate Ag (in the form of ovalbumin [OVA]-coated Sepharose beads) in the lung vascular bed. We found that large Ags were presented and cross-presented to CD4 and CD8 T cells in the mediastinal lymph nodes (LNs) but not in the spleen or liver-draining LNs. Dividing T cells returned to the lungs, and a short-lived infiltrate consisting of T cells and DCs formed around trapped Ag. This infiltrate was increased when the Toll-like receptor 4 was stimulated and full DC maturation was induced by CD40 triggering. Under these conditions, OVA-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses, as well as humoral immunity, were induced. The T cell response to embolic Ag was severely reduced in mice depleted of CD11c(hi) cells or Ly6C/G(+) cells but restored upon adoptive transfer of Ly6C(hi) monocytes. We conclude that the lung vascular filter represents a largely unexplored site of immune induction that traps large bloodborne Ags for presentation by monocyte-derived DCs.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)2823-2835
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Volume206
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Research programs

  • EMC MM-02-72-01
  • EMC MM-04-42-02

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