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Eur J Immunol. 2002 Jul;32(7):1881-7.

Increased circulating CD11b+CD11c+ dendritic cells (DC) in aged BWF1 mice which can be matured by TNF-alpha into BLC/CXCL13-producing DC.

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Department of Molecular Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.


Dendritic cells (DC) play a pivotal role in regulating immune responses. We previously reported aberrant high production of B lymphocyte chemoattractant (BLC/CXCL13) by DC in aged BWF1 mice, amurine model for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We describe here that CD11b+CD11c+ cells were markedly increased in the peripheral blood (PBL-DC) in aged BWF1, but not in similarly aged NZB or NZW mice. Part of PBL-DC showed a typical dendritic morphology and expressed MHC class II molecules, and had a weak, but significant antigen-presenting ability in mixed lymphocytereaction. PBL-DC were chemoattracted to several chemokines in vitro including secondary lymphoid tissue chemokine (SLC), liver and activation-regulated chemokine (LARC), RANTES, macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha, whereas splenic mature DC from aged BWF1 mice were preferentially chemoattracted towards SLC. BLC production was induced when PBL-DC were cultured in the presence of TNF-alpha for 3 days. BLC expression was also induced in bone marrow-derived DC when they were differentiated into mature DC in the presence of TNF-alpha and IL-1beta, while both IFN-alpha and IFN-gamma failed to induce BLC expression in bone marrow-derived DC. Since TNF-alpha expression is increased in aged BWF1 mice, DC recruitment in the circulation and maturation into BLC-producing DC by TNF-alpha may play a pivotal role in the development of systemic autoimmune diseases.

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