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J Immunol. 2006 Aug 15;177(4):2276-84.

Preferential induction of CD4+ T cell responses through in vivo targeting of antigen to dendritic cell-associated C-type lectin-1.

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Edward Jenner Institute for Vaccine Research, Compton, Newbury, Berkshire, United Kingdom.


Targeting of Ags and therapeutics to dendritic cells (DCs) has immense potential for immunotherapy and vaccination. Because DCs are heterogeneous, optimal targeting strategies will require knowledge about functional specialization among DC subpopulations and identification of molecules for targeting appropriate DCs. We characterized the expression of a fungal recognition receptor, DC-associated C-type lectin-1 (Dectin-1), on mouse DC subpopulations and investigated the ability of an anti-Dectin-1 Ab to deliver Ag for the stimulation of immune responses. Dectin-1 was shown to be expressed on CD8alpha-CD4-CD11b+ DCs found in spleen and lymph nodes and dermal DCs present in skin and s.c. lymph nodes. Injection of Ag-anti-Dectin-1 conjugates induced CD4+ and CD8+ T cell and Ab responses at low doses where free Ag failed to elicit a response. Notably, qualitatively different immune responses were generated by targeting Ag to Dectin-1 vs CD205, a molecule expressed on CD8alpha+CD4-CD11b- DCs, dermal DCs, and Langerhans cells. Unlike anti-Dectin-1, anti-CD205 conjugates failed to elicit an Ab response. Moreover, when conjugates were injected i.v., anti-Dectin-1 stimulated a much stronger CD4+ T cell response and a much weaker CD8+ T cell response than anti-CD205. The results reveal Dectin-1 as a potential targeting molecule for immunization and have implications for the specialization of DC subpopulations.

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