Accessory cell function of human endothelial cells. I. A subpopulation of Ia positive cells is required for antigen presentation

G. Nunez, E. J. Ball, P. Stastny

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72 Scopus citations


The expression of class I and class II HLA antigens on preparations of human endothelial cells, isolated from umbilical cord veins, was investigated by immunofluorescence. While virtually all endothelial cells expressed class I antigens, less than 1% were positive for class II antigens, as detected with a panel of 10 different monoclonal antibodies. Antigen specific T cell lines proliferated in response to mumps antigen in the presence of endothelial cells or blood monocytes from HLA-DR matched donors. However, these T cell lines failed to respond in the absence of accessory cells or when accessory cells from HLA-D-region mismatched cord donors were used. The ability of both monocytes and endothelial cells to present antigen was abolished by treatment of the cells with monoclonal antibodies specific for either class I or class II HLA antigens plus complement. Similar treatment with monoclonal antibodies specific for monocytes greatly reduced antigen presentation by monocytes but failed to inhibit presentation by endothelial cells. These results indicate that preparations of endothelial cells contain a subpopulation of Ia positive cells, distinct from monocytes, which are required for antigen presentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)666-673
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1983


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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