Differential abilities of central nervous system resident endothelial cells and astrocytes to serve as inducible antigen-presenting cells. Academic Article uri icon


  • Microglial cells and astrocytes are capable of processing and presenting antigens for efficient activation of T cells. However, the antigen-presenting function and role of cerebrovascular endothelial cells (CVEs) in central nervous system inflammatory responses remain controversial. We compared the expression of necessary accessory molecules and the functional antigen-presenting capacity of cloned SJL/J CVEs and primary astrocytes in response to the pro-inflammatory cytokines interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha). Astrocytes and CVEs up-regulated major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II, and primarily B7-1 as opposed to B7-2, in response to IFN-gamma. TNF-alpha inhibited the IFN-gamma-induced up-regulation of MHC class II on CVEs correlating to a decrease in the mRNA for the class II transactivator (CIITA), whereas CIITA expression in astrocytes was unaffected. Unlike astrocytes, CVEs did not elicit significant MHC class II-restricted T-cell responses. Furthermore, we have found that CVE monolayers are altered following T-cell contact, implicating CVE/T-cell contact in the breakdown of the blood-brain barrier during neuro-inflammatory responses.

published proceedings

  • Blood

author list (cited authors)

  • Girvin, A. M., Gordon, K. B., Welsh, C. J., Clipstone, N. A., & Miller, S. D.

citation count

  • 43

complete list of authors

  • Girvin, Ann M||Gordon, Kenneth B||Welsh, C Jane||Clipstone, Neil A||Miller, Stephen D

publication date

  • May 2002

published in