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Immunity. 2013 Mar 21;38(3):581-95. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2013.01.009. Epub 2013 Feb 7.

Luminal bacteria recruit CD103+ dendritic cells into the intestinal epithelium to sample bacterial antigens for presentation.

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  • 1Department of Immunology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.


CD103+ dendritic cells (DCs) carry bacteria from the small intestine and can present antigens to T cells. Yet they have not been recorded sampling luminal bacteria or presenting bacterial antigens in mesentery lymph nodes. We used 2-photon microscopy in live Cx3cr1(+/gfp) ×Cd11c-YFP mice to study these processes. At steady state, sparse CD103+ DCs occupied the epithelium. They patrolled among enterocytes while extending dendrites toward the lumen, likely using tight-junction proteins to penetrate the epithelium. Challenge with Salmonella triggered chemokine- and toll-like receptor (TLR)-dependent recruitment of additional DCs from the lamina propria (LP). The DCs efficiently phagocytosed the bacteria using intraepithelial dendrites. Noninvasive bacteria were similarly sampled. In contrast, CD103+ DCs sampled soluble luminal antigen inefficiently. In mice harboring CD103+ DCs, antigen-specific CD8 T cells were subsequently activated in MLNs. Intestinal CD103+ DCs are therefore equipped with unique mechanisms to independently complete the processes of uptake, transportation, and presentation of bacterial antigens.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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