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J Immunol. 2003 May 15;170(10):5089-94.

A subset of human dendritic cells in the T cell area of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue with a high potential to produce TNF-alpha.

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  • 1Micromet AG, Munich, Germany.


Recently, a new class of human dendritic cell (DC) precursors has been described in the peripheral blood recognized by the mAb M-DC8. These cells represent approximately 1% of PBMC and acquire several characteristics of myeloid DC upon in vitro culture. In this report we show that M-DC8(+) monocytes secrete in response to LPS >10 times the amount of TNF-alpha as M-DC8(-) monocytes, but produce significantly less IL-10. Consistent with a role in inflammatory responses, we found that M-DC8(+) cells localized in the T cell area of inflamed human tonsils and in the subepithelial dome region of Peyer's patches. In patients with active Crohn's disease, abundant M-DC8(+) cells were detectable in inflamed ileal mucosa, which were entirely depleted after systemic steroid treatment. Our results indicate that M-DC8(+) cells are cells of DC phenotype in inflamed mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue that may contribute to the high level of TNF-alpha production in Crohn's disease. We infer that selective elimination of M-DC8(+) cells in inflammatory diseases has therapeutic potential.

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