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Nat Immunol. 2006 Jun;7(6):663-71. Epub 2006 May 7.

Intrasplenic steady-state dendritic cell precursors that are distinct from monocytes.

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The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and the Cooperative Research Centre for Vaccine Technology, Parkville, Victoria 3050, Australia.


Immediate precursors of the many subtypes of dendritic cells (DCs) remain obscure. Here we purified a splenic precursor population that produced all splenic CD8+ and CD8- conventional DCs (cDCs) but not plasmacytoid DCs or other lineages. This 'pre-cDC' population included cells 'precommitted' to form either CD8+ or CD8- cDCs. The pre-cDCs, which comprised 0.05% of splenocytes, expressed a CD11c(int) CD45RA(lo) CD43(int) SIRP-alpha(int) CD4- CD8- major histocompatibility complex class II-negative surface phenotype. The pre-cDCs were not monocytes. Monocytes generated few cDCs in steady-state recipient mice. However, when transferred into mice with an inflammatory milieu dependent on granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, monocytes produced a distinct type of splenic DC. Thus, the inflammatory status of the host influences the developmental origin and type of DC present in lymphoid tissues.

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