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J Exp Med. 2010 Sep 27;207(10):2089-96. doi: 10.1084/jem.20100734. Epub 2010 Sep 6.

CD11c depletion severely disrupts Th2 induction and development in vivo.

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  • 1Institute of Immunology and Infection Research, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH9 3JT Scotland, UK.


Although dendritic cells (DCs) are adept initiators of CD4(+) T cell responses, their fundamental importance in this regard in Th2 settings remains to be demonstrated. We have used CD11c-diphtheria toxin (DTx) receptor mice to deplete CD11c(+) cells during the priming stage of the CD4(+) Th2 response against the parasitic helminth Schistosoma mansoni. DTx treatment significantly depleted CD11c(+) DCs from all tissues tested, with 70-80% efficacy. Even this incomplete depletion resulted in dramatically impaired CD4(+) T cell production of Th2 cytokines, altering the balance of the immune response and causing a shift toward IFN-γ production. In contrast, basophil depletion using Mar-1 antibody had no measurable effect on Th2 induction in this system. These data underline the vital role that CD11c(+) antigen-presenting cells can play in orchestrating Th2 development against helminth infection in vivo, a response that is ordinarily balanced so as to prevent the potentially damaging production of inflammatory cytokines.

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