Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
a cell that can break down protein antigens into peptides and present the peptides, in conjunction with major HLA complex class II molecules, on the cell surface, where they can interact with T cell receptors. Macrophages are one type of antigen-presenting cell.
antigen-presenting cellAbbreviation: APC
A cell that breaks down antigens and displays their fragments on surface receptors next to major histocompatibility complex molecules. This presentation is necessary for some T lymphocytes that are unable to recognize soluble antigens. Macrophages are the primary antigen-presenting cells, but B cells and dendritic cells also can act as APCs.See: T cell; macrophage processing cell
See also: cell