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J Immunol. 2000 Dec 1;165(11):6037-46.

BDCA-2, BDCA-3, and BDCA-4: three markers for distinct subsets of dendritic cells in human peripheral blood.

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  • 1Miltenyi Biotec GmbH, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany. AmCell Corporation, Sunnyvale, CA 94089, USA.


We have generated a panel of mAbs that identify three presumably novel human dendritic cell Ags: BDCA-2, BDCA-3, and BDCA-4. In blood, BDCA-2 and BDCA-4 are expressed on CD11c(-) CD123(bright) plasmacytoid dendritic cells, whereas BDCA-3 is expressed on small population of CD11c(+) CD123(-) dendritic cells. All three Ags are not detectable on a third blood dendritic cell population, which is CD1c(+) CD11c(bright) CD123(dim), or on any other cells in blood. BDCA-4 is also expressed on monocyte-derived and CD34(+) cell-derived dendritic cells. Expression of all three Ags dramatically changes once blood dendritic cells undergo in vitro maturation. BDCA-2 is completely down-regulated on plasmacytoid CD11c(-) CD123(bright) dendritic cells, expression of BDCA-3 is up-regulated on both plasmacytoid CD11c(-) CD123(bright) dendritic cells and CD1c(+) CD11c(bright) CD123(dim) dendritic cells, and expression of BDCA-4 is up-regulated on CD1c(+) CD11c(bright) CD123(dim) dendritic cells. BDCA-2 is rapidly internalized at 37 degrees C after mAb labeling. The three presumably novel Ags serve as specific markers for the respective subpopulations of blood dendritic cells in fresh blood and will be of great value for their further analysis and to evaluate their therapeutic potential.

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