Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Developmental Immunology
Volume 2, Issue 4, Pages 249-261

Lineage Switch Macrophages Can Present Antigen

Department of Microbiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1101, USA

Copyright © 1992 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Recent reports of “lineage switching” from a lymphoid to macrophage phenotype have left unresolved the question of whether such cells are functional macrophages or nonfunctional products of differentiation gone awry. This study demonstrates that several “macrophage-like” cell lines derived from v-Ha-ras-transformed pre-B cells have gained the capacity to effectively present antigen in MHC-restricted fashion. Using an assay involving the cocultivation of putative antigen-presenting cells with chicken ovalbumin (cOVA) and a cOVA-specific T-cell hybridoma, “lineage switch” cell lines were found to present antigen as effectively as macrophage-containing peritoneal exudates. Neither the original pre-B-cell precursors nor B-cell lymphomas derived from them present antigen. Thus, we have demonstrated that these “lineage switch” macrophages are capable of antigen presentation, a mature differentiated function. While gaining macrophage characteristics, these cells have also rearranged their kappa light-chain immunoglobulin locus, suggesting that macrophage differentiation and immunoglobulin rearrangement are not mutually exclusive processes. The existence of both lymphoid and myeloid characteristics in a cell fully capable of antigen presentation suggests greater plasticity in hematopoietic lineage commitment than conventionally thought to be the case.