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Antigen processing and T cell priming by mouse dendritic cells

Drakesmith, Alexander Hal; (1998) Antigen processing and T cell priming by mouse dendritic cells. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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For a vertebrate to survive and reproduce, it must be able to fight infection efficiently throughout its life-span. The vertebrate immune system performs this function by recognising, responding to, killing and remembering pathogens. A crucial component of immunity is the dendritic cell, which responds to inflammatory signals such as cytokines which are produced because of infection. The invading pathogen is captured and partially degraded by dendritic cells via a mechanism termed antigen processing. Dendritic cells are specialised to prime specific T cells against small regions (called determinants) derived from the pathogen by antigen processing. The activated T cells then control the immune response which fights the infection. This thesis is a study of how antigen processing by dendritic cells can be affected by cytokines. The determinants processed and presented from a model antigen are shown to vary considerably depending upon which cytokines the dendritic cells are exposed to. In particular, determinants that are normally not presented (cryptic determinants) can become very immunogenic: the cytokine exposed dendritic cells activate T cells against these cryptic deteminants both in vitro and in vivo. How one particular cytokine, interleukin-6, can cause these effects is further investigated. Although the exact mechanism is not elucidated, interleukin-6 is shown to differentiate dendritic cells in novel ways, including acidifying certain intracellular compartments which are involved in antigen processing. Because pH influences many aspects of antigen processing, the display of cryptic determinants by interleukin-6 treated dendritic cells can very probably be accounted for by this characteristic.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Antigen processing and T cell priming by mouse dendritic cells
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Health and environmental sciences; Dendritic cells
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10100918
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