Antigen processing and presentation by lymph node stromal cells
01 / 2010 - unknown
Higher eukaryotes are hard pressed to distinguish between self-proteins and foreign proteins, for instance derived from pathogens, on a molecular level. Consequently, the immune system contains cells that react to self-proteins as if these were foreign. Lymph node stromal cells have recently emerged as an exciting novel population of antigen presenting cells that form an essential barrier to prevent self-reactivity from developing into autoimmune disease. Lymph node stromal cells inhibit the activity of T-lymphocytes by presenting antigenic peptides from self-proteins and inducing T-cell tolerance to these peptides. Currently, very little is known about the antigen uptake and processing capabilities of lymph node stromal cells. In this project we will elucidate the mechanisms of antigen processing and presentation of lymph node stromal cells. Moreover, we will determine the impact of lymph node stromal cell mediated antigen presentation in vivo by performing lymph node transplantation in mouse models. The combination of unique in vivo and in vitro experiments will provide an in depth characterization of the physiology of lymph node stromal antigen presenting cells.