Autophagy-mediated antigen processing in CD4+ T cell tolerance and immunity

Ludger Klein, Christian Münz, Jan D. Lünemann

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Macroautophagy, a homeostatic process that shuttles cytoplasmic constituents into endosomal and lysosomal compartments, has recently been shown to deliver antigens for presentation on major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II. Autophagy-mediated antigen processing in thymic epithelial cells has been suggested to be involved in the generation of a self-MHC restricted and self-tolerant CD4+ T cell repertoire. Furthermore, there is accumulating evidence that the up-regulation of autophagy by pattern-recognition receptor signaling represents an innate defense mechanism against intracellular pathogens. Thus, through linking pathogen breakdown with the presentation of pathogen-derived autophagy substrates on MHC class II, autophagy serves a dual function at the interface of the innate and the adaptive immune response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1405-1410
Number of pages6
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Antigen presentation
  • Innate immunity
  • Intracellular pathogen
  • Macroautophagy
  • T cell selection
  • Vaccination


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