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Immunol Cell Biol. 2002 Aug;80(4):370-81.

Flt3 ligand expands dendritic cell numbers in normal and malignant murine prostate.

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Arthritis Research Laboratory, Hanson Institute, Institute of Medical andVeterinary Science, Adelaide, SA, Australia.


We have developed a murine model that facilitates the structural and functional analysis in vivo of dendritic cell (DC)-mediated phagocytosis of prostate epithelial cells. Recombinant human Flt3 ligand (rhFL) expands the number of dendritic cells in lymphoid and non-lymphoid tissues of mice. We show that rhFL also induced the ingress of dendritic cells into murine prostate, which involutes via epithelial apoptosis after surgical castration. Intact or castrated C57BL/6 and syngeneic transgenic adenocarcinoma of mouse prostate (TRAMP) mice were treated with rhFL or PBS control. Prostate and spleen were then studied by flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry. The number of prostatic CD11c+ and CD11b+ dendritic cells increased significantly in rhFL-treated mice compared with PBS-treated control mice and this effect was greatly augmented by castration of the mice. The immunophenotype of rhFL-mobilized prostatic cells was consistent with that of Langerhans cells (MHC class II+, CD11c+,CD11b+, DEC-205+, CD8 alpha-).MHC class II+ and CD11c+ dendritic cells that were present in the prostate glands of rhFL-treated and castrated C57BL/6 mice were intimately associated with TUNEL+ inclusions, which suggests that Langerhans-type dendritic cells in prostate participated in the clearance of apoptotic cells. Expression of MHC class II, CD54, CD80 and CD86 by prostatic dendritic cells was not up-regulated after castration and freshly isolated rhFL-induced prostate cells were unable to prime allogeneicT cells unless they were activated by culture either on plastic or with recombinant soluble CD40 ligand. Our data suggest that rhFL-mobilized prostatic dendritic cells resemble the functionally immature dendritic cells, which reside in peripheral tissues and contribute to the maintenance of peripheral tolerance.

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