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This article is part of the supplement: 25th European Workshop for Rheumatology Research

Oral presentation

Tracking immune responses in vivo

MK Jenkins

  • Correspondence: MK Jenkins

Author affiliations

Center for Immunology, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Citation and License

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2005, 7(Suppl 1):S5  doi:10.1186/ar1510


The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:


Received:11 January 2005
Published:17 February 2005

© 2005 BioMed Central Ltd

Oral presentation

We have developed new tools that allow detection of peptide–MHC II presentation to naïve CD4+ T cells in vivo. These tools were used to track early events in the immune response to a subcutaneously injected antigen. Following such an injection, antigen is quickly carried via lymphatic vessels into the draining lymph nodes, and down through thin collagen-based conduits that run through the T-cell-rich area. Langerhans cells and dermal dendritic cells near the conduits acquired antigen, produced peptide–MHC II complexes, and were the first cells to stimulate naïve antigen-specific CD4+ T cells. About 18 hours after antigen injection, dermal dendritic cells migrated from the injection site and arrived in the lymph nodes displaying a large number of peptide–MHC II complexes. Elimination of these cells truncated CD25 expression by antigen-specific CD4+ T cells and ablated the development of cell-mediated immunity. Injection of antigen with the adjuvant lipopolysaccharide allowed blood-derived myeloid and lymphoid dendritic cells to produce peptide–MHC II complexes. Antigen-specific, but not non-specific, B cells acquired antigen and produced peptide–MHC II complexes by 6 hours. These B cells migrated from random positions in the follicles to the border with the T-cell area, and interacted stably there with peptide–MHC II-specific CD4+ T cells by about 36 hours. These results demonstrate the antigen-specific CD4+ T cells interact with a variety of antigen-presenting cell types during the primary immune response.