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Front Immunol. 2018 May 7;9:953. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.00953. eCollection 2018.

Langerin+ CD8α+ Dendritic Cells Drive Early CD8+ T Cell Activation and IL-12 Production During Systemic Bacterial Infection.

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Malaghan Institute of Medical Research, Wellington, New Zealand.
School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery, Auckland, New Zealand.


Bloodstream infections induce considerable morbidity, high mortality, and represent a significant burden of cost in health care; however, our understanding of the immune response to bacteremia is incomplete. Langerin+ CD8α+ dendritic cells (DCs), residing in the marginal zone of the murine spleen, have the capacity to cross-prime CD8+ T cells and produce IL-12, both of which are important components of antimicrobial immunity. Accordingly, we hypothesized that this DC subset may be a key promoter of adaptive immune responses to blood-borne bacterial infections. Utilizing mice that express the diphtheria toxin receptor under control of the langerin promoter, we investigated the impact of depleting langerin+ CD8α+ DCs in a murine model of intravenous infection with Mycobacterium bovis bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG). In the absence of langerin+ CD8α+ DCs, the immune response to blood-borne BCG infection was diminished: bacterial numbers in the spleen increased, serum IL-12p40 decreased, and delayed CD8+ T cell activation, proliferation, and IFN-γ production was evident. Our data revealed that langerin+ CD8α+ DCs play a pivotal role in initiating CD8+ T cell responses and IL-12 production in response to bacteremia and may influence the early control of systemic bacterial infections.


bacille Calmette–Guerin; dendritic cell; diphtheria toxin; langerin; systemic infection

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