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Eur J Immunol. 2010 Mar;40(3):710-21. doi: 10.1002/eji.200939333.

C5a receptor-deficient dendritic cells promote induction of Treg and Th17 cells.

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Division of Molecular Immunology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, USA.


C5a is a proinflammatory mediator that has recently been shown to regulate adaptive immune responses. Here we demonstrate that C5a receptor (C5aR) signaling in DC affects the development of Treg and Th17 cells. Genetic ablation or pharmacological targeting of the C5aR in spleen-derived DC results in increased production of TGF-beta leading to de novo differentiation of Foxp3(+) Treg within 12 h after co-incubation with CD4(+) T cells from DO11.10/RAG2(-/-) mice. Stimulation of C5aR(-/-) DC with OVA and TLR2 ligand Pam(3)CSK(4) increased TGF-beta production and induced high levels of IL-6 and IL-23 but only minor amounts of IL-12 leading to differentiation of Th cells producing IL-17A and IL-21. Th17 differentiation was also found in vivo after adoptive transfer of CD4(+) Th cell into C5aR(-/-) mice immunized with OVA and Pam(3)CSK(4). The altered cytokine production of C5aR(-/-) DC was associated with low steady state MHC class II expression and an impaired ability to upregulate CD86 and CD40 in response to TLR2. Our data suggest critical roles for C5aR in Treg and Th17-cell differentiation through regulation of DC function.

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