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J Immunol. 2004 Aug 1;173(3):1826-33.

Characterization of distinct conventional and plasmacytoid dendritic cell-committed precursors in murine bone marrow.

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  • 1Multiorgan Transplantation Program, Toronto General Hospital and Department of Surgey, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


The developmental pathways and differentiation relationship of dendritic cell (DC) subsets remain unclear. We report that murine CD11c(+)MHC II(-) bone marrow cells, which are immediate DC precursors of CD8 alpha(+), CD8 alpha(-), and B220(+) DC in vivo, can be separated into B220(+) and B220(-) DC precursor subpopulations. Purified B220(-) DC precursors expand, and generate exclusively mature CD11c(+)CD11b(+)B220(-) DC in vitro and after adoptive transfer. B220(+) DC precursors, which resemble plasmacytoid pre-DC, have a lower proliferative potential than B220(-) DC precursors and generate both CD11b(-) B220(+) and CD11b(+)B220(-) DC populations. Both DC precursor populations can give rise to CD8 alpha(+) and CD8 alpha(-) DC subtypes. Our findings indicate that CD11c(+)MHC II(-)B220(+) and CD11c(+)MHC II(-)B220(-) bone marrow cells are distinct DC lineage-restricted precursors.

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