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J Innate Immun. 2010;2(4):360-70. doi: 10.1159/000300568. Epub 2010 Mar 20.

Cross-talk between human dendritic cell subsets influences expression of RNA sensors and inhibits picornavirus infection.

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Department of Tumor Immunology, Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are professional antigen-presenting cells that provide a link between innate and adaptive immunity. Multiple DC subsets exist and their activation by microorganisms occurs through binding of conserved pathogen-derived structures to so-called pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). In this study we analyzed the expression of PRRs responding to viral RNA in human monocyte-derived DCs (moDCs) under steady-state or pro-inflammatory conditions. We found that mRNA and protein levels for most PRRs were increased under pro-inflammatory conditions, with the most pronounced increases in the RIG-like helicase (RLH) family. Additionally, freshly isolated human plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) displayed significantly higher levels of TLR7, RIG-I, MDA5 and PKR as compared to myeloid DCs and moDCs. Finally, we demonstrate for the first time that cross-talk between TLR-matured or virus-stimulated pDCs and moDCs leads to a type I interferon-dependent antiviral state in moDCs. This antiviral state was characterized by enhanced RLH expression and protection against picornavirus infection. These findings might represent a novel mechanism by which pDCs can preserve the function and viability of myeloid DCs that are attracted to a site with ongoing infection, thereby optimizing the antiviral immune response.

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