Distinct kinetics and dynamics of cross-presentation in liver sinusoidal endothelial cells compared to dendritic cells


  • Potential conflict of interest: Nothing to report.


Cross-presentation is an important function of immune competent cells, such as dendritic cells (DCs), macrophages, and an organ-resident liver cell population, i.e., liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs). Here, we characterize in direct comparison to DCs the distinct dynamics and kinetics of cross-presentation employed by LSECs, which promote tolerance induction in CD8 T cells. We found that LSECs were as competent in cross-presenting circulating soluble antigen ex vivo as DCs at a per-cell basis. However, antigen uptake in vivo was 100-fold more pronounced in LSECs, indicating distinct mechanisms of cross-presentation. In contrast to mannose-receptor–mediated antigen uptake and routing into stable endosomes dedicated to cross-presentation in DCs, we observed distinct antigen-uptake and endosomal routing with high antigen turnover in LSECs that resulted in short-lived cross-presentation. Receptor-mediated endocytosis did not always lead to cross-presentation, because immune-complexed antigen taken up by the Fc-receptor was not cross-presented by LSECs, indicating that induction of CD8 T cell tolerance by LSECs is impaired in the presence of preexisting immunity. Conclusion: These results provide a mechanistic explanation how organ-resident LSECs accommodate continuous scavenger function with the capacity to cross-present circulating antigens using distinct kinetics and dynamics of antigen-uptake, routing and cross-presentation compared to DCs. (HEPATOLOGY 2009.)