Circulating human dendritic cells differentially express high levels of a 55-kd actin-bundling protein

George Mosialos, Mark Birkenbach, Seyoum Ayehunie, Fumio Matsumura, Geraldine S. Pinkus, Elliott Kieff, Erik Langhoff

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154 Scopus citations


This study was initiated to examine the differential expression of an evolutionary conserved human 55-kd actin-bundling (p55) protein that is induced in B lymphocytes by Epstein-Barr virus infection. Our study demonstrates that p55 is specifically expressed at constitutively high levels in human peripheral blood dendritic cells and lymph node (interdigitating) dendritic cells. Blood dendritic cells constitute a minority (<2%) of all blood leukocytes but are a distinct population of potent antigen-presenting cells. Immunofluorescence microscopy with a monoclonal antibody specific for p55 showed that 87% of peripheral blood dendritic cells stained brightly in the cytoplasm and in the veiled cytoplasmic extensions. In contrast, monocytes, granulocytes, T cells, and B lymphocytes showed no expression of the p55 protein. Western blot analysis confirmed that only the dendritic cell component of peripheral blood expressed high levels of p55. Staining of human lymph node sections demonstrated selective expression of the p55 antigen by dendritic cells in the T-cell-dependent areas but not in the B cell follicles. p55 is likely to be involved in the organization of a specialized microfilament cytoskeleton in the dendritic cells, and the anti-p55 antibody should be useful for further characterization of this important population of antigen-presenting cells in clinical transplantation, HIV-1 pathogenesis, and autoimmune diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-600
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 1996


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