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Elife. 2016 Sep 22;5. pii: e17979. doi: 10.7554/eLife.17979.

CD301b+ dendritic cells suppress T follicular helper cells and antibody responses to protein antigens.

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Department of Immunobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, United States.
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, United States.
Department of Dermatology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, United States.
Department of Immunology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, United States.


Strong antibody response is considered a hallmark of a successful vaccine. While dendritic cells (DCs) are important for T follicular helper (Tfh) cell priming, how this process is regulated in vivo is unclear. We show here that the depletion of CD301b+ DCs specifically enhanced the development of Tfh cells, germinal center B cells and antibody responses against protein antigens. Exaggerated antibody responses in mice depleted of CD301b+ DCs occurred in the absence of any adjuvants, and resulting antibodies had broader specificity and higher affinity to the immunogen. CD301b+ DCs express high levels of PD-1 ligands, PD-L1 and PD-L2. Blocking PD-1 or PD-L1 during priming in wild-type mice partially mimicked the phenotype of CD301b+ DC-depleted animals, suggesting their role in Tfh suppression. Transient depletion of CD301b+ DC results in the generation of autoreactive IgG responses. These results revealed a novel regulatory mechanism and a key role of CD301b+ DCs in blocking autoantibody generation.


Tfh; antibody; autoimmunity; dendritic cells; germinal center; immunology; immunoregulation; mouse

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