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Immunity. 1999 Dec;11(6):753-61.

Differentiation of phagocytic monocytes into lymph node dendritic cells in vivo.

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Department of Pathology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, USA.


We investigated the differentiation and trafficking of inflammatory monocytes that phagocytosed subcutaneously injected fluorescent microspheres. As expected, most of the monocytes became microsphere+ macrophages, which remained in subcutaneous tissue. However, about 25% of latex+ cells migrated to the T cell area of draining lymph nodes, where they expressed dendritic cell (DC)-restricted markers and high levels of costimulatory molecules. Microsphere-transporting cells were distinct from resident skin DCs, and this transport was reduced by more than 85% in monocyte-deficient osteopetrotic mice. Thus, a substantial minority of inflammatory monocytes carry phagocytosed particles to lymph nodes and differentiate into DCs.

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