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Transfusion. 2009 Aug;49(8):1692-1708. doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2009.02170.x.

Immunophenotypical, morphologic, and functional characterization of maturation-associated plasmacytoid dendritic cell subsets in normal adult human bone marrow.

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Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular del Cáncer, Centro de Investigación del Cáncer/IBMCC (CSIC-USAL), Salamanca, Spain.



Information about maturation of plasmacytoid dendritic cell precursors (pre-pDCs) in normal bone marrow (BM) remains limited.


Immunophenotypical, morphologic, and functional changes associated with maturation of pre-pDCs were analyzed in adult normal human BM (n = 45).


Three pre-pDC maturation stages, with an increasingly higher degree of maturity, were systematically identified: CD34++/HLA-DR++/+++/CD123++/CD45+/++ (Stage I), CD34+/HLA-DR+/++/CD123++/+++/CD45+/++ (Stage II), and CD34-/HLA-DR++/CD123++/+++/CD45++ (Stage III) cells. Lymphoid- and early myeloid-associated molecules, as well as CD86, were coexpressed in Stage I pre-pDCs, being down regulated afterward. CD304 and CD85j appeared in Stage I, progressively increasing their levels thereafter. Interestingly, cutaneous lymphocyte-associated antigen was heterogeneously expressed throughout the maturation, particularly in Stage I pre-pDCs. The morphologic appearance of Stage I pre-pDCs was consistent with their undifferentiated stage, while Stage II/III cells showed morphologic features of more differentiated cells. From the functional point of view, only Stage II and Stage III pre-pDCs were capable of inducing allogeneic T-cell proliferation, the later subset also showing interferon-g secretion; in contrast, Stage I pre-pDCs showed the highest endocytic ability.


In summary, three maturation stages of pre-pDCs can be identified in adult normal BM, which show unique phenotypical, morphologic, and functional characteristics; these results provide a frame of reference for a better understanding of pDC malignancies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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