We monitored the APC function of cells taken from the spleen and peritoneal cavity of mice that had been given protein antigens via the intravenous or intraperitoneal routes. Using the mAb 33D1 and N418 to negatively and positively select dendritic cells, we obtained evidence that dendritic cells are the main cell type in spleen that carries the protein in a form that is immunogenic for antigen-specific T cells. In vivo pulsed macrophages were not immunogenic and did not appear capable of transferring peptide fragments to dendritic cells.

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