Antigen presentation by endothelial cells: what role in the pathophysiology of malaria?
Disruption of the endothelial cell (EC) barrier leads to pathology via edema and inflammation. During infections, pathogens are known to invade the EC barrier and modulate vascular permeability. However, ECs are semi-professional antigen-presenting cells, triggering T-cell costimulation and specific immune-cell activation. This in turn leads to the release of inflammatory mediators and the destruction of infected cells by effectors such as CD8(+) T-cells. During malaria, transfer of parasite antigens to the EC surface is now established. At the same time, CD8 activation seems to play a major role in cerebral malaria. We summarize here some of the pathways leading to antigen presentation by ECs and address the involvement of these mechanisms in the pathophysiology of cerebral malaria. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.