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Blood. 2000 Sep 1;96(5):1865-72.

Differentiation of myeloid dendritic cells into CD8alpha-positive dendritic cells in vivo.

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Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA.


Bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (DC) represent a family of antigen-presenting cells (APC) with varying phenotypes. For example, in mice, CD8alpha(+) and CD8alpha(-) DC are thought to represent cells of lymphoid and myeloid origin, respectively. Langerhans cells (LC) of the epidermis are typical myeloid DC; they do not express CD8alpha, but they do express high levels of myeloid antigens such as CD11b and FcgammaR. By contrast, thymic DC, which derive from a lymphoid-related progenitor, express CD8alpha but only low levels of myeloid antigens. CD8alpha(+) DC are also found in the spleen and lymph nodes (LN), but the origin of these cells has not been determined. By activating and labeling CD8alpha(-) epidermal LC in vivo, it was found that these cells expressed CD8alpha on migration to the draining LN. Similarly, CD8alpha(-) LC generated in vitro from a CD8 wild-type mouse and injected into the skin of a CD8alphaKO mouse expressed CD8alpha when they reached the draining LN. The results also show that CD8alpha(+) LC are potent APC. After migration from skin, they localized in the T-cell areas of LN, secreted high levels of interleukin-12, interferon-gamma, and chemokine-attracting T cells, and they induced antigen-specific T-cell activation. These results demonstrate that myeloid DC in the periphery can express CD8alpha when they migrate to the draining LN. CD8alpha expression on these DC appears to reflect a state of activation, mobilization, or both, rather than lineage. (Blood. 2000;96:1865-1872).

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