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J Exp Med. 2013 Sep 23;210(10):2011-24. doi: 10.1084/jem.20130728. Epub 2013 Sep 9.

Intestinal lamina propria dendritic cells maintain T cell homeostasis but do not affect commensalism.

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Department of Dermatology, Center for Immunology and 2 Department of Soil, Water, and Climate, Biotechnology Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455.


Dendritic cells (DCs) in the intestinal lamina propria (LP) are composed of two CD103(+) subsets that differ in CD11b expression. We report here that Langerin is expressed by human LP DCs and that transgenic human langerin drives expression in CD103(+)CD11b(+) LP DCs in mice. This subset was ablated in huLangerin-DTA mice, resulting in reduced LP Th17 cells without affecting Th1 or T reg cells. Notably, cognate DC-T cell interactions were not required for Th17 development, as this response was intact in huLangerin-Cre I-Aβ(fl/fl) mice. In contrast, responses to intestinal infection or flagellin administration were unaffected by the absence of CD103(+)CD11b(+) DCs. huLangerin-DTA x BatF3(-/-) mice lacked both CD103(+) LP DC subsets, resulting in defective gut homing and fewer LP T reg cells. Despite these defects in LP DCs and resident T cells, we did not observe alterations of intestinal microbial communities. Thus, CD103(+) LP DC subsets control T cell homeostasis through both nonredundant and overlapping mechanisms.

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