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PLoS One. 2013 Oct 2;8(10):e76258. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0076258. eCollection 2013.

In vivo T cell activation induces the formation of CD209(+) PDL-2(+) dendritic cells.

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Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine (Blood Center), Palo Alto, California, United States of America.


Two critical functions of dendritic cells (DC) are to activate and functionally polarize T cells. Activated T cells can, in turn, influence DC maturation, although their effect on de novo DC development is poorly understood. Here we report that activation of T cells in mice, with either an anti-CD3 antibody or super antigen, drives the rapid formation of CD209(+)CD11b(+)CD11c(+) MHC II(+) DC from monocytic precursors (Mo-DC). GM-CSF is produced by T cells following activation, but surprisingly, it is not required for the formation of CD209(+) Mo-DC. CD40L, however, is critical for the full induction of Mo-DC following T cell activation. T cell induced CD209(+) Mo-DC are comparable to conventional CD209(-) DC in their ability to stimulate T cell proliferation. However, in contrast to conventional CD209(-) DC, CD209(+) Mo-DC fail to effectively polarize T cells, as indicated by a paucity of T cell cytokine production. The inability of CD209(+) Mo-DC to polarize T cells is partly explained by increased expression of PDL-2, since blockade of this molecule restores some polarizing capacity to the Mo-DC. These findings expand the range of signals capable of driving Mo-DC differentiation in vivo beyond exogenous microbial factors to include endogenous factors produced following T cell activation.

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