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Characterization of human DNGR-1+ BDCA3+ leukocytes as putative equivalents of mouse CD8α+ dendritic cells

By Lionel Franz Poulin, Mariolina Salio, Emmanuel Griessinger, Fernando Anjos-Afonso, Ligia Craciun, Ji-Li Chen, Anna M. Keller, Olivier Joffre, Santiago Zelenay, Emma Nye, Alain Le Moine, Florence Faure, Vincent Donckier, David Sancho, Vincenzo Cerundolo, Dominique Bonnet and Caetano Reis e Sousa


In mouse, a subset of dendritic cells (DCs) known as CD8α+ DCs has emerged as an important player in the regulation of T cell responses and a promising target in vaccination strategies. However, translation into clinical protocols has been hampered by the failure to identify CD8α+ DCs in humans. Here, we characterize a population of human DCs that expresses DNGR-1 (CLEC9A) and high levels of BDCA3 and resembles mouse CD8α+ DCs in phenotype and function. We describe the presence of such cells in the spleens of humans and humanized mice and report on a protocol to generate them in vitro. Like mouse CD8α+ DCs, human DNGR-1+ BDCA3hi DCs express Necl2, CD207, BATF3, IRF8, and TLR3, but not CD11b, IRF4, TLR7, or (unlike CD8α+ DCs) TLR9. DNGR-1+ BDCA3hi DCs respond to poly I:C and agonists of TLR8, but not of TLR7, and produce interleukin (IL)-12 when given innate and T cell–derived signals. Notably, DNGR-1+ BDCA3+ DCs from in vitro cultures efficiently internalize material from dead cells and can cross-present exogenous antigens to CD8+ T cells upon treatment with poly I:C. The characterization of human DNGR-1+ BDCA3hi DCs and the ability to grow them in vitro opens the door for exploiting this subset in immunotherapy

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Publisher: The Rockefeller University Press
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