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J Immunol. 2011 Jul 15;187(2):842-50. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1101176. Epub 2011 Jun 15.

Targeting antigen to mouse dendritic cells via Clec9A induces potent CD4 T cell responses biased toward a follicular helper phenotype.

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Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Parkville, Melbourne, Victoria 3052, Australia.


Three surface molecules of mouse CD8(+) dendritic cells (DCs), also found on the equivalent human DC subpopulation, were compared as targets for Ab-mediated delivery of Ags, a developing strategy for vaccination. For the production of cytotoxic T cells, DEC-205 and Clec9A, but not Clec12A, were effective targets, although only in the presence of adjuvants. For Ab production, however, Clec9A excelled as a target, even in the absence of adjuvant. Potent humoral immunity was a result of the highly specific expression of Clec9A on DCs, which allowed longer residence of targeting Abs in the bloodstream, prolonged DC Ag presentation, and extended CD4 T cell proliferation, all of which drove highly efficient development of follicular helper T cells. Because Clec9A shows a similar expression pattern on human DCs, it has particular promise as a target for vaccines of human application.

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