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Featured Publication

Acquisition and presentation of follicular dendritic cell–bound antigen by lymph node–resident dendritic cells

J Exp Med 208(1) (2011)

Megan L. McCloskey, Maria A. Curotto de Lafaille, Michael C. Carroll, and Adrian Erlebacher. Acquisition and presentation of follicular dendritic cell–bound antigen by lymph node–resident dendritic cells. J Exp Med. 2011 Jan 17;208(1):135-148. Epub 2010 Dec 20. Cited in Pubmed; PMID 21173103. doi: 10.1084/jem.20100354. PMCID: PMC3023135.

Follicular dendritic cells (DCs [FDCs]) are prominent stromal cell constituents of B cell follicles with the remarkable ability to retain complement-fixed antigens on their cell surface for extended periods of time. These retained immune complexes have long been known to provide the antigenic stimulus that drives antibody affinity maturation, but their role in cellular immunity has remained unclear. In this study, we show that FDC-retained antigens are continually sampled by lymph node–resident DCs for presentation to CD8 T cells. This novel pathway of antigen acquisition was detectable when FDCs were loaded with purified antigens bound into classical antigen–antibody immune complexes, as well as after pregnancy, when they are loaded physiologically with antigens associated with the complement-fixed microparticles released from the placenta into maternal blood. In both cases, ensuing antigen presentation was profoundly tolerogenic, as it induced T cell deletion even under inflammatory conditions. These results significantly broaden the scope of FDC function and suggest new ways that the complement system and persistent antigen presentation might influence T cell activation and the maintenance of peripheral immune tolerance.

Selected Articles


Tagliani E, Erlebacher A. Dendritic cell function at the maternal-fetal interface. Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2011 Sep;7(5):593-602. Cited in Pubmed; PMID 21895472. doi: 10.1586/eci.11.52.

Tagliani E, Shi C, Nancy P, Tay CS, Pamer EG, Erlebacher A. Coordinate regulation of tissue macrophage and dendritic cell population dynamics by CSF-1. J Exp Med. 2011 Aug 29;208(9):1901-16. Epub 2011 Aug 8. Cited in Pubmed; PMID 21825019. doi: 10.1084/jem.20110866. PMCID: PMC3171096 [Available on 2012/2/29].

Erlebacher A. Strangers no more: uterine NK cell recognition of the placenta in mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Mar 15;108(11):4267-8. Epub 2011 Mar 3. Cited in Pubmed; PMID 21372266. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1101509108. PMCID: PMC3060254.


Erlebacher A. Immune surveillance of the maternal/fetal interface: controversies and implications. Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2010;21:428-434. Cited in Pubmed; PMID 20304670. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2010.02.003. PMCID: PMC2892024.


Collins MK, Tay CS, Erlebacher A. Dendritic cell entrapment within the pregnant uterus inhibits immune surveillance of the maternal/fetal interface in mice. J Clin Invest. 2009 Jul;119(7):2062-73. doi: 10.1172/JCI38714. PMCID: PMC2701881 (see associated Commentary on pp. 1854-1857; the paper was also highlighted in the August 2009 issue of Nat. Rev. Immunol.).


Erlebacher A, Vencato D, Price KA, Zhang D, Glimcher LH. Constraints in antigen presentation severely restrict T cell recognition of the allogeneic fetus. J Clin Invest. 2007 May;117(5):1399-1411. Cited in Pubmed; PMID 17446933. doi: 10.1172/JCI28214. PMCID: PMC1849983.


Red-Horse K, Rivera J, Schanz A, Zhou Y, Winn V, Kapidzic M, Maltepe E, Okazaki K, Kochman R, Vo KC, Giudice L, Erlebacher A, McCune JM, Stoddart CA, Fisher SJ. Cytotrophoblast induction of arterial apoptosis and lymphangiogenesis in an in vivo model of human placentation. J Clin Invest. 2006 Oct;116(10):2643-52. Cited in Pubmed; PMID 16998586. doi: 10.1172/JCI27306. PMCID: PMC1570373.


Tayade C, Fang Y, Black GP, Paffaro VA Jr, Erlebacher A, Croy BA. Differential transcription of Eomes and T-bet during maturation of mouse uterine natural killer cells. J Leukoc Biol. 2005 Dec;78(6):1347-55. Cited in Pubmed; PMID 16204645. doi: 10.1189/jlb.0305142.


Erlebacher A, Price KA, Glimcher LH. Maintenance of mouse trophoblast stem cell proliferation by TGF-β/activin. Dev Biol. 2004 Nov 1;275:158-69. Cited in Pubmed; PMID 15464579. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2004.07.032.

Erlebacher A, Zhang D, Parlow AF, Glimcher LH. Ovarian insufficiency and early pregnancy loss induced by activation of the innate immune system. J Clin Invest. 2004;114:39-48. Cited in Pubmed; PMID 15232610. doi: 10.1172/JCI20645. PMCID: PMC437968 (see associated Commentary on pp. 15-17).


Erlebacher A, Lukens AK, Glimcher LH. Intrinsic susceptibility of mouse trophoblasts to natural killer cell-mediated attack in vivo. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Dec 24;99:16940-45. Cited in Pubmed; PMID 12486249. doi: 10.1073/pnas.222652199. PMCID: PMC139248.


Erlebacher A. Why isn't the fetus rejected? Curr Opin Immunol. 2001 Oct;13(5):590-3. Cited in Pubmed; PMID 11544009. doi: 10.1016/S0952-7915(00)00264-8.


Filvaroff E, Erlebacher A, Ye J, Gitelman SE, Lotz J, Heillman M, Derynck R. Inhibition of TGF- receptor signaling in osteoblasts leads to decreased bone remodeling and increased trabecular bone mass. Development. 1999 Oct;126(19):4267-79. Cited in Pubmed; PMID 10477295.
Link to Article


Erlebacher A, Filvaroff EH, Ye JQ, Derynck R. Osteoblastic responses to TGF- during bone remodeling. Mol Biol Cell. 1998 Jul;9(7):1903-18. Cited in Pubmed; PMID 9658179. PMCID: PMC25433.
Link to Article


Erlebacher A, Derynck R. Increased expression of TGF-2 in osteoblasts results in an osteoporosis-like phenotype. J Cell Biol. 1996 Jan;132:195-210. Cited in Pubmed; PMID 8567723. PMCID: PMC2120709.
Link to Article


Erlebacher A, Filvaroff EH, Gitelman SE, Derynck R. Toward a molecular understanding of skeletal development. Cell. 1995 Feb 10;80:371-8. Cited in Pubmed; PMID 7859279. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(95)90487-5.


Barad M, Erlebacher A, McGinnis W. Despite expression in embryonic visceral mesoderm, H2.0 is not essential for Drosophila visceral muscle morphogenesis. Dev Genet. 1991;12(3):206-11. Cited in Pubmed; PMID 1678322. doi: 10.1002/dvg.1020120305.