Antigen-presenting function of human peritoneum mesothelial cells

M. T. Valle, M. L. Degl'Innocenti, R. Bertelli, P. Facchetti, F. Perfumo, D. Fenoglio, A. Kunkl, R. Gusmano, F. Manca

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Mesothelial cells (MC) from human peritoneal omentum fragments obtained during surgical insertion of peritoneal catheters for continuous peritoneal dialysis in end stage renal failure (ESRF) patients were cultured in vitro. MC exhibited a phenotype different from macrophages, but MHC class II molecules were well expressed. Therefore MC lines were tested for antigen-presenting capacity by pulsing with soluble antigens (tetanus toxoid and purified protein derivative (PPD)) or with a corpusculate antigen (Candida albicans bodies). Autologous peripheral blood mononuclear cells (BMC) depleted of adherent monocytes and cloned T cells generated from an individual matched for the MHC class II antigen DR2 were used to test antigen-presenting function. MC effectively presented the soluble and corpusculate antigens to autologous and MHC-compatible allogeneic lymphocytes, indicating that they are endowed with both endocytic/phagocytic activity and with processing/presenting capacity. Preincubation of MC with human recombinant interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) up-regulated MHC class II and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) expression, but the effect on antigen-presenting function was not consistent. Since MC are an important component of the peritoneal environment, they may participate, along with macrophages, in activation of specific T cells and in the generation of local cell-mediated immunity to various pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-176
Number of pages5
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • Antigen presentation
  • Continuous peritoneal dialysis
  • Mesothelial cells
  • Peritonitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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