Professional antigen-presenting cells, such as macrophages, dendritic cells, or B cells, take up soluble, exogenous antigens (Ags) and process them through the class II pathway. Several reports have shown that phagocytic macrophages also process particulate or soluble forms of exogenous Ag via the class I pathway. By contrast, B cells normally do not process soluble, exogenous Ag by way of the class I pathway unless Ags are directly introduced into the cytoplasm. Here we report that B cells present exogenous Ag via the class I pathway when Ags are taken up by receptor-mediated endocytosis. Thus, specialized methods of Ag uptake such as phagocytosis or receptor-mediated endocytosis deliver exogenous Ag into the class I pathway of Ag processing and presentation.

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