Intercellular transfer of MHC and immunological molecules: molecular mechanisms and biological significance

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    The intercellular transfer of many molecules, including the major histocompatibility complexes (MHC), both class I and II, costimulatory and adhesion molecules, extracellular matrix organization molecules as well as chemokine, viral and complement receptors, has been observed between cells of the immune system. In this review, we aim to summarize the findings of a large body of work, highlight the molecules transferred and how this is achieved, as well as the cells capable of acquiring molecules from other cells. Although a physiological role for this phenomenon has yet to be established we suggest that the exchange of molecules between cells may influence the immune system with respect to immune amplification as well as regulation and tolerance. We will discuss why this may be the case and highlight the influence intercellular transfer of MHC molecules may have on allorecognition and graft rejection.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberN/A
    Pages (from-to)1442 - 1449
    Number of pages8
    JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


    • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes
    • Cells
    • Dendritic Cells
    • HLA-D Antigens
    • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
    • Humans
    • Immune System
    • Major Histocompatibility Complex
    • Transplantation Immunology


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