Gene family clustering identifies functionally associated subsets of human in vivo blood and tonsillar dendritic cells

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Abstract

Human dendritic cells (DCs) are a distinct but heterogeneous lineage of APCs operating as the link between innate and adaptive immune responses, with the function to either maintain,tolerance or trigger immunity. The DC lineage consists of several subpopulations with unique phenotypes; however, their functional characteristics and transcriptional similarities remain largely unknown. To further characterize the phenotypes and transcriptomes of the subsets, we purified myeloid CD16(+), blood DC Ag 1(+) (BDCA1(+)), and BDCA3(+) DC populations, as well as plasmacytoid CD123(+) DCs, from tonsillar tissue and peripheral blood. Transcriptional profiling and hierarchical clustering visualized that BDCA1(+) DCs clustered with BDCA3(+) DCs, whereas CD16+ DCs and CD123(+) DCs clustered as distinct populations in blood. Differential expression levels of chemokines, ILs, and pattern recognition receptors were demonstrated, which emphasize innate DC subset specialization. Even though highly BDCA1(+) and BDCA3(+) DC-specific gene expression was identified in blood, the BDCA1(+) DCs and BDCA3(+) DCs from tonsils displayed similar transcriptional activity, most likely due to the pathogenic or inflammatory maturational signals present in tonsillar tissues. Of note, plasmacytoid DCs displayed less plasticity in their transcriptional activity compared with myeloid DCs. The data demonstrated a functionally distinct association of each of the seven subsets based on their signatures, involving regulatory genes in adaptive and innate immunity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4839-4846
JournalJournal of Immunology
Volume175
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Immunology in the medical area

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