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PLoS One. 2013 May 31;8(5):e64800. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0064800. Print 2013.

Bcl11a controls Flt3 expression in early hematopoietic progenitors and is required for pDC development in vivo.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America.

Abstract

Bcl11a is a transcription factor known to regulate lymphoid and erythroid development. Recent bioinformatic analysis of global gene expression patterns has suggested a role for Bcl11a in the development of dendritic cell (DC) lineages. We tested this hypothesis by analyzing the development of DC and other lineages in Bcl11a (-/-) mice. We found that Bcl11a was required for expression of IL-7 receptor (IL-7R) and Flt3 in early hematopoietic progenitor cells. In addition, we found severely decreased numbers of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) in Bcl11a (-/-) fetal livers and in the bone marrow of Bcl11a (-/-) fetal liver chimeras. Moreover, Bcl11a (-/-) cells showed severely impaired in vitro development of Flt3L-derived pDCs and classical DCs (cDCs). In contrast, we found normal in vitro development of DCs from Bcl11a (-/-) fetal liver cells treated with GM-CSF. These results suggest that the persistent cDC development observed in Bcl11a (-/-) fetal liver chimeras reflects derivation from a Bcl11a- and Flt3-independent pathway in vivo.

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