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Eur J Immunol. 2015 Oct;45(10):2821-33. doi: 10.1002/eji.201545530. Epub 2015 Jul 24.

Innate immune system favors emergency monopoiesis at the expense of DC-differentiation to control systemic bacterial infection in mice.

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Institute for Microbiology and Infection Medicine, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.
Department of Immunology, Institute for Cell Biology, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.
Instituto de Investigaciones Biotecnológicas-(IIB-INTECH), Universidad Nacional de San Martín-CONICET, Argentina.
Department of Internal Medicine II, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.
NMI Natural and Medical Sciences Institute at the University of Tübingen, Reutlingen, Germany.
Microbiology Institute - Clinical Microbiology, Immunology, and Hygiene, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg and Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, Germany.
Department of Dermatology, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.
Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapy, Institute for Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.
Department of Internal Medicine I, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.


DCs are professional APCs playing a crucial role in the initiation of T-cell responses to combat infection. However, systemic bacterial infection with various pathogens leads to DC-depletion in humans and mice. The mechanisms of pathogen-induced DC-depletion remain poorly understood. Previously, we showed that mice infected with Yersinia enterocolitica (Ye) had impaired de novo DC-development, one reason for DC-depletion. Here, we extend these studies to gain insight into the molecular mechanisms of DC-depletion and the impact of different bacteria on DC-development. We show that the number of bone marrow (BM) hematopoietic progenitors committed to the DC lineage is reduced following systemic infection with different Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. This is associated with a TLR4- and IFN-γ-signaling dependent increase of committed monocyte progenitors in the BM and mature monocytes in the spleen upon Ye-infection. Adoptive transfer experiments revealed that infection-induced monopoiesis occurs at the expense of DC-development. Our data provide evidence for a general response of hematopoietic progenitors upon systemic bacterial infections to enhance monocyte production, thereby increasing the availability of innate immune cells for pathogen control, whereas impaired DC-development leads to DC-depletion, possibly driving transient immunosuppression in bacterial sepsis.


Bacterial infection; Dendritic cells; IFN-γ; Monocytes; Sepsis

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