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Eur J Immunol. 2001 May;31(5):1544-9.

BLC (CXCL13) is expressed by different dendritic cell subsets in vitro and in vivo.

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Department of Tumor Immunology, University Medical Center Nijmegen St. Radboud, The Netherlands.


Dendritic cells (DC) attract both T and B lymphocytes to induce an efficient antigen-specific immune response. Recently, it was shown that naïve T cells are attracted to DC by dendritic cell chemokine 1 (DC-CK1, CCL18). The potent B lymphocyte chemoattractant BLC (CXCL13) was previously shown to be essential for homing of lymphocytes into secondary lymphoid organs and for the development of B cell follicles. As the cells that produce BLC are largely unknown and BLC could be a candidate chemokine for the recruitment of B cells to DC, we analyzed different DC subsets for expression of BLC. Here we demonstrate that monocyte-derived DC as well as activated blood DC indeed express and secrete BLC. Interestingly, ligation of the CD40 molecule down-regulated BLC expression in monocyte-derived DC. Staining of tonsilar sections indicated that BLC is expressed by follicular dendritic cells and germinal center dendritic cells (GCDC) in vivo. Real-time quantitative PCR confirmed the expression of BLC in isolated GCDC. Since both B cells and activated T cells express the receptor for BLC, our findings implicate an important role for BLC in establishing the interaction of DC with T cells and B cells. Furthermore, CD40/CD40 ligand interactions could modulate this process by down-regulating the expression of BLC.

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