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Blood. 2006 Aug 1;108(3):878-85. Epub 2006 Feb 28.

Mouse plasmacytoid dendritic cells derive exclusively from estrogen-resistant myeloid progenitors.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 36th and Hamilton Walk, 230 John Morgan Bldg, Philadelphia, 19104, USA.


Current models predict that mouse plasmacytoid dendritic cells (PDCs) derive from lymphoid progenitors. However, we show PDCs arise exclusively from common myeloid progenitors (CMPs) characterized by low-level expression of several lymphoid-associated genes, including a RAG2/GFP reporter transgene. This conclusion is supported by both adoptive transfer experiments and an estrogen treatment strategy that led to marked depletion of very early lymphoid progenitors without affecting RAG2/GFP(+) CMPs or the developmental kinetics, RAG-mediated recombinase activity, and cytokine production of PDCs. These data suggest that PDCs arise exclusively from early myeloid progenitors and that promiscuous low-level expression of lymphoid-associated genes is a general feature of PDC progenitors among CMPs.

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