Alteration of antigen recognition by T cells as result of insufficient major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-dependent antigen-presenting function has been observed in many cases of infections, particularly in in vitro systems. To hide themselves from an efficient immune response, pathogens may act on MHC-related functions at three levels: (i) by limiting the number of potential antigens that can be presented to naive T cells; (ii) by synthesizing proteins which directly affect MHC cell-surface expression; and (iii) by altering the normal intracellular pathway of peptide loading on MHC. Here, we review examples of pathogens' action on each single step of MHC function and we suggest that the result of these often synergistic actions is both a limitation of the priming of naive T cells and, more importantly, a protection of the pathogen's reservoir from the attack of primed T cells. The above mechanisms may also generate a skewing effect on immune effector mechanisms, which helps preserving the reservoir of infection from sterilization by the immune system.

MHC immunoevasins: protecting the pathogen reservoir in infection

DE LERMA BARBARO, ANDREA;ACCOLLA, ROBERTO
2005

Abstract

Alteration of antigen recognition by T cells as result of insufficient major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-dependent antigen-presenting function has been observed in many cases of infections, particularly in in vitro systems. To hide themselves from an efficient immune response, pathogens may act on MHC-related functions at three levels: (i) by limiting the number of potential antigens that can be presented to naive T cells; (ii) by synthesizing proteins which directly affect MHC cell-surface expression; and (iii) by altering the normal intracellular pathway of peptide loading on MHC. Here, we review examples of pathogens' action on each single step of MHC function and we suggest that the result of these often synergistic actions is both a limitation of the priming of naive T cells and, more importantly, a protection of the pathogen's reservoir from the attack of primed T cells. The above mechanisms may also generate a skewing effect on immune effector mechanisms, which helps preserving the reservoir of infection from sterilization by the immune system.
antigen presentation, dendritic cells, MHC, openreading frames, pathogen reservoir
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11383/1498706
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