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World J Gastroenterol. 2010 Jan 7;16(1):21-9.

Loss of CD103+ intestinal dendritic cells during colonic inflammation.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine I, University of Regensburg, D-93053 Regensburg, Germany.



To investigate possible differences in dendritic cells (DC) within intestinal tissue of mice before and after induction of colitis.


Mucosal DC derived from intestinal tissue, as well as from mesenteric lymph nodes and spleen, were analyzed by fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis. Supernatants of these cells were analyzed for secretion of different pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence were performed on cryosections of mucosal tissue derived from animals with colitis as well as from healthy mice.


It was shown that DC derived from healthy intestinal lamina propria (LP) represented an immature phenotype as characterized by low-level expression of costimulatory cytokines. In contrast to DC from spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN) that secreted proinflammatory cytokines, LP-DC produced high levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. After induction of murine colitis in a CD4(+)CD62L(+) transfer model or in chronic dextran sulfate sodium-colitis, a marked increase of activated CD80(+) DC could be observed within the inflamed colonic tissue. Interestingly, in contrast to splenic DC, a significant population of DC within MLN and colonic LP expressed the mucosal integrin CD103 which was lost during colitis.


The constitutive secretion of anti-inflammatory cytokines by immature DC within the intestinal LP might regulate the homeostatic balance between mucosal immunity and tolerance. CD103(+) DC could mediate this important function.

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