Adult human glial cells can present target antigens to HLA-restricted cytotoxic T-cells

Suhayl Dhib-Jalbut, Conrad V. Kufta, Marjorie Flerlage, Naoki Shimojo, Henry F. McFarland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


T-lymphocyte recognition of antigen either on antigen-presenting cells (APC) necessary for the generation of an immune response or on target cells during the effector phase of a cellular immune response requires expression of HLA molecules. Although immune mechanisms operate in many disease processes of the central nervous system (CNS), cells of the CNS generally express low levels of HLA molecules. In this study, the potential for upregulation of HLA molecules on adult human glial cells was examined. Moreover, the functional implication of this upregulation was assessed by the capacity of glial cells to process and present target antigens to HLA class I-restricted influenza-specific and class II-restrict myelin basic protein (MBP)-specific CTL lines. Glial cells cultured from adult human surgical brain specimens or cells from established glioblastoma multiforme cell lines were studied. Lysis by antigen-specific CTLs was dependent on treatment of the target cell with interferon-γ. The lysis was HLA restricted and antigen specific. The results indicate that adult human glial cells can process and present antigen to HLA-restricted CTLs but require the upregulation of HLA molecules. These findings have implications for infectious and autoimmune diseases of the CNS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-211
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Antigen presentation
  • Astrocyte
  • Microglia
  • Myelin basic protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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