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Eur J Immunol. 2001 Dec;31(12):3413-21.

Monocytes from Wiskott-Aldrich patients differentiate in functional mature dendritic cells with a defect in CD83 expression.

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Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milano, Italy.


Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) is an X-linked disorder characterized by congenital thrombocytopenia and progressive deterioration of the immune function. Dendritic cells (DC) are key effectors in the induction of specific immunity and are highly specialized in antigen uptake and subsequent migration to draining lymph nodes. DC were generated in vitro from circulating monocytes from ten WAS patients characterized by a different disease score. Immature DC showed similar morphology and membrane phenotype, as compared to normal DC. In chemotaxis assay, immature DC had a reduced migration in response to MIP-1alpha/CCL3, but efficiently endocytosed the macromolecules FITC-dextran and FITC-albumin. Upon terminal differentiation with LPS or CD40 ligand, the acquisition of a mature surface phenotype was variably achieved among WAS patients, with increased expression of CD80, CD86 and DC-LAMP. In contrast, the expression of CD83 was usually low. A defective up-regulation of CD83 was also observed in the lymph node from one WAS patient, whose DC stained positively for DC-LAMP. Mature DC from all the patients tested, but one, significantly migrated in vitro in response to MIP-3beta, a finding confirmed in vivo by the detection of HLA-DR/DC LAMP-positive cells in secondary lymphoid organs. When tested in MLR assays, both immature and mature WAS DC induced allogenic T cell proliferation in a manner comparable to control DC. Collectively these results suggest that, although many functional activities of WAS DC are essentially similar to normal DC, subtle and selective alterations of DC differentiation were also observed, with reduced migratory activity of immature DC and defective CD83 expression upon maturation.

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