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J Immunol. 2007 Jun 15;178(12):7984-93.

Dendritic cells derived from murine colonic mucosa have unique functional and phenotypic characteristics.

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  • 1Center for Gene Therapeutics, Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, McMaster University, 1200 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


Dendritic cells (DCs) residing in different tissues and exposed to different organisms are likely to have different reactivities to their surrounding environment. Many studies use in vitro generated DCs to examine functions of these cells, but such cells may not truly reflect the nature of DCs and their in situ activities in vivo. We have used magnetic label-based technique to isolate colonic DCs to conduct derailed characterization of these cells. Colonic DCs comprise mainly CD11b+ DCs with few CD8alpha+ DCs or plasmacytoid DCs. Functionally, isolated colonic DCs are able to endocytose and process proteins, undergo maturation, and stimulate T cells to proliferate. Importantly, expression of TLRs by colonic DCs is significantly lower than that of their spleen counterparts; however, they appear to be as, or more, responsive to stimulation by oligodeoxynucleotides containing CpG motif based on their cytokine production. We speculate that colonic DCs have unique reactivities differing from DCs residing in other lymphoid tissues and are adapted for the unique microenvironment of the colonic mucosa and that these cells react uniquely to their environment.

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