Antigen-independent acquisition of MHC class II molecules by human T lymphocytes

Anita H. Undale, Peter J. van den Elsen, Esteban Celis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


We report here that human T lymphocytes have the capacity of acquiring large amounts of MHC class II molecules from various types of antigen-presenting cells (APC) in an antigen-independent manner. The transfer of MHC class II molecules from APC to T cell required direct cell-to-cell contact and appeared to involve the interaction of numerous adhesion molecules between these cells. Depletion of cholesterol from the plasma membrane reduced the amount of MHC class II transferred onto the T cells. Most significantly, the newly acquired MHC class II molecules were capable of efficiently presenting antigen to T helper cells. These results suggest that T cells are able to interact with other T cells to regulate immune responses by presenting MHC peptide complexes that have been snatched away from nearby APC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1523-1533
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Immunology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Adhesion molecules
  • Antigen presentation
  • MHC
  • T lymphocytes
  • Trogocytosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Antigen-independent acquisition of MHC class II molecules by human T lymphocytes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this