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J Exp Med. 2007 Jan 22;204(1):171-80. Epub 2006 Dec 26.

Monocytes give rise to mucosal, but not splenic, conventional dendritic cells.

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Department of Immunology, The Weizmann Institute of Science, 76100 Rehovot, Israel.


The mononuclear phagocyte (MP) system is a body-wide macrophage (MPhi) and dendritic cell (DC) network, which contributes to tissue homeostasis, inflammation, and immune defense. The in vivo origins of MPs remain poorly understood. Here, we use an adoptive precursor cell transfer strategy into MP-depleted mice to establish the in vivo differentiation sequence from a recently identified MPhi/DC-restricted bone marrow (BM) precursor (MDP) via BM and blood intermediates to peripheral MPhis and DCs. We show that MDPs are in vivo precursors of BM and blood monocytes. Interestingly, grafted Gr1high "inflammatory" blood monocytes shuttle back to the BM in the absence of inflammation, convert into Gr1low monocytes, and contribute further to MP generation. The grafted monocytes give rise to DCs in the intestinal lamina propria and lung, but not to conventional CD11chigh DCs in the spleen, which develop during homeostasis from MDPs without a monocytic intermediate.

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