Self/nonself discrimination

Michael Scheinost scheini at
Tue Jul 19 09:30:00 EST 1994

In article 94198.164503FORSDYKE at QUCDN.QueensU.CA,
FORSDYKE at QUCDN.QueensU.CA  writes:

>     Does an antigen-presenting cell take in antigens randomly? Surely, an
> antigen has first to be labelled as "foreign" by reacting with an antibody
> (either free or cell-bound)? The pre-existing repertoire of antibodies
> then determines which antigens will be taken up. The antibody repertoire is
> not random, so why should antigen-uptake be random?

I think there often is an antigen-uptake by APCs before the antigen had  
contact with antibodies. This should be the case with dendritic cells such  
as Langerhans cells of the epidermis or interstitial dendritic cells.
And I don't think that macrophages need antibody covered antigens to  
phagocyte them although their activity may be enhanced by antibodies and/ 
or cytokines.

Please let me know when I'm wrong,



Michael Scheinost                   Internet: <scheini at>

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