The basis for the immunoregulatory role of macrophages and other accessory cells

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Science  01 May 1987:
Vol. 236, Issue 4801, pp. 551-557
DOI: 10.1126/science.2437650


Macrophages handle extracellular proteins and secrete diverse bioactive molecules and, therefore, influence the physiology of many tissues. They also have an important immunoregulatory role. The immune response to proteins involves the activation of the T helper subset of lymphocytes. The T helper cell is activated only when it interacts with the protein displayed on the surface of a macrophage or other accessory cell. This interaction involves restrictive proteins encoded in the major histocompatibility gene complex as well as growth-differentiating proteins.