Trogocytosis of peptide-MHC class II complexes from dendritic cells confers antigen-presenting ability on basophils

Kensuke Miyake, Nozomu Shiozawa, Toshihisa Nagao, Soichiro Yoshikawa, Yoshinori Yamanishi, Hajime Karasuyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


Th2 immunity plays important roles in both protective and allergic responses. Nevertheless, the nature of antigen-presenting cells responsible for Th2 cell differentiation remains ill-defined compared with the nature of the cells responsible for Th1 and Th17 cell differentiation. Basophils have attracted attention as a producer of Th2-inducing cytokine IL-4, whereas their MHC class II (MHC-II) expression and function as antigen-presenting cells are matters of considerable controversy. Here we revisited the MHC-II expression on basophils and explored its functional relevance in Th2 cell differentiation. Basophils generated in vitro from bone marrow cells in culture with IL-3 plus GM-CSF displayed MHC-II on the cell surface, whereas those generated in culture with IL-3 alone did not. Of note, theseMHC-II-expressing basophils showed little or no transcription of the corresponding MHC-II gene. The GM-CSF addition to culture expanded dendritic cells (DCs) other than basophils. Coculture of basophils and DCs revealed that basophils acquired peptide-MHC-II complexes from DCs via cell contact-dependent trogocytosis. The acquired complexes, together with CD86, enabled basophils to stimulate peptide-specific T cells, leading to their proliferation and IL-4 production, indicating that basophils can function as antigenpresenting cells for Th2 cell differentiation. Transfer of MHC-II from DCs to basophils was also detected in draining lymph nodes of mice with atopic dermatitis-like skin inflammation. Thus, the present study defined the mechanism by which basophils display MHC-II on the cell surface and appears to reconcile some discrepancies observed in previous studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1111-1116
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jan 31 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Basophil
  • Dendritic cell
  • MHC class II
  • Trogocytosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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