Primary immune responses rely upon the successful contact between dendritic cells (DCs) and resting T cells, but exactly which molecules are involved in this process remains unknown. In April 15 online Nature Immunology, Rafaèle Tordjman and colleagues from Institut Cochin, Paris, show that neuropilin-1 mediates interactions between DCs and T cells that are essential for initiation of the primary immune responses.

Tordjman et al. observed that neuropilin-1 — a receptor involved in axon guidance — is also expressed by human DCs and resting T cells both in vitro and in vivo. In addition, they showed that neuropilin-1 has a role in adhesion and clustering between DCs and T cells (Nature Immunol 2002, DOI: 10.1038/ni789).

"The data we present here demonstrate another parallel between the nervous and immune systems in the capacity of the neuronal guidance cue to play a role in initiation of the primary immune...

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