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J Exp Med. 2010 May 10;207(5):953-61. doi: 10.1084/jem.20091844. Epub 2010 Apr 26.

GM-CSF-dependent, CD103+ dermal dendritic cells play a critical role in Th effector cell differentiation after subcutaneous immunization.

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Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Neuroscience, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


Dendritic cells (DCs) play an important role in CD4(+) T helper (Th) cell differentiation and in the initiation of both protective and pathogenic immunity. Granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is a DC growth factor critical for the induction of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and other autoimmune diseases, yet its mechanism of action in vivo is not fully defined. We show that GM-CSF is directly required for the accumulation of radiosensitive dermal-derived langerin(+)CD103(+) DCs in the skin and peripheral lymph nodes under steady-state and inflammatory conditions. Langerin(+)CD103(+) DCs stimulated naive myelin-reactive T cells to proliferate and produce IFN-gamma and IL-17. They were superior to other DC subsets in inducing expression of T-bet and promoting Th1 cell differentiation. Ablation of this subset in vivo conferred resistance to EAE. The current report reveals a previously unidentified role for GM-CSF in DC ontogeny and identifies langerin(+)CD103(+) DCs as an important subset in CD4(+) T cell-mediated autoimmune disease.

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