In the present study aortic murine smooth muscle cell (SMC) antigen presentation capacity was evaluated using the Eα-GFP/Y-Ae system to visualize antigen uptake through a GFP tag and tracking of Eα peptide/MHCII presentation using the Y-Ae Ab. Stimulation with IFN-γ (100 ng/mL) for 72 h caused a significant (P < 0.01) increase in the percentage of MHC class II positive SMCs, compared with unstimulated cells. Treatment with Eα-GFP (100 μg/mL) for 48 h induced a significant (P < 0.05) increase in the percentage of GFP positive SMCs while it did not affect the percentage of Y-Ae positive cells, being indicative of antigen uptake without its presentation in the context of MHC class II. After IFN-γ-stimulation, ovalbumin- (OVA, 1 mg/mL) or OVA323-339 peptide-(0.5 μg/mL) treated SMCs failed to induce OT-II CD4(+) T cell activation/proliferation; this was also accompanied by a lack of expression of key costimulatory molecules (OX40L, CD40, CD70, and CD86) on SMCs. Finally, OVA-treated SMCs failed to induce DO11.10-GFP hybridoma activation, a process independent of costimulation. Our results demonstrate that while murine primary aortic SMCs express MHC class II and can acquire exogenous antigens, they fail to activate T cells through a failure in antigen presentation and a lack of costimulatory molecule expression.
- Antigen Presentation
- Flow Cytometry
- Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/immunology
- Histocompatibility Antigens Class II/immunology
- Lymphocyte Activation/immunology
- Myocytes, Smooth Muscle/immunology