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J Immunol. 2000 Oct 1;165(7):4062-8.

Experimentally induced recruitment of plasmacytoid (CD123high) dendritic cells in human nasal allergy.

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Laboratory for Immunohistochemistry and Immunopathology, Institute of Pathology, University of Oslo, Rikshospitalet, Norway.


Recent evidence suggests that the previously enigmatic cell type designated plasmacytoid monocytes can function as dendritic cells and contribute substantially to both innate and adaptive immunity. This cell type has previously been described only in bone marrow, blood, and organized lymphoid tissue, but not at effector sites with direct Ag exposure such as the mucosae. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (P-DCs) matured in vitro can induce T cells to produce allergy-promoting Th2 cytokines; therefore, their possible occurrence in nasal mucosa during experimentally elicited allergic rhinitis was examined. Patients with silent nasal allergy were challenged topically with relevant allergen daily for 7 days. Biopsy specimens as well as blood samples were obtained before and during such provocation, and P-DCs were identified by their high expression of CD123 (IL-3R alpha-chain), together with CD45RA. Our results showed that P-DCs were present in low and variable numbers in normal nasal mucosa but increased dramatically during the allergic reaction. This accumulation concurred with the expression of the L-selectin ligand peripheral lymph node addressin on the mucosal vascular endothelium. The latter observation was particularly interesting in view of the high levels of L-selectin on circulating P-DC precursors and of previous reports suggesting that these cells can enter organized lymphoid tissue via high endothelial venules (which express peripheral lymph node addressin constitutively). Together, our findings suggested that P-DCs are involved in the triggering of airway allergy and that they are directed to allergic lesions by adhesion molecules that normally mediate leukocyte extravasation in organized lymphoid tissue.

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