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J Immunol. 2008 Mar 1;180(5):2951-6.

Splenic stromal microenvironment negatively regulates virus-activated plasmacytoid dendritic cells through TGF-beta.

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Institute of Immunology and National Key Laboratory of Medical Immunology, Department of Microbiology, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China.


Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) secrete large amounts of IFN-alpha upon exposure to virus, subsequently promoting and regulating innate and adaptive immune responses. However, little is known about the functional regulation of virus-activated pDCs after they exert functions in secondary lymph organs. Our previous studies show that splenic stromal microenvironment can down-regulate the T cell response by inducing generation of regulatory myeloid dendritic cells; therefore, we wondered whether the splenic stromal microenvironment can regulate the function of virus-activated pDCs. In this study, we provide evidences that the splenic stromal microenvironment can chemoattract vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)-activated pDCs via stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF-1), inhibit the secretion of IFN-alpha, IL-12, TNF-alpha, and expression of I-Ab, CD86, CD80, and CD40 by VSV-activated pDCs, and subsequently inhibit VSV-infected pDCs to activate NK cell IFN-gamma production and cytotoxicity. Stroma-derived TGF-beta participates in the negative regulation of VSV-activated pDCs. Therefore, we demonstrate that splenic stromal microenvironment negatively regulates the virus-activated pDCs through TGF-beta, outlining an additional mechanistic explanation for maintenance of immune homeostasis.

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