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Development of thymic and splenic dendritic cell populations from different hemopoietic precursors.

Wu L, D'Amico A, Hochrein H, O'Keeffe M, Shortman K, Lucas K

  • Journal Blood

  • Published 20 Dec 2001

  • Volume 98

  • ISSUE 12

  • Pagination 3376-82

  • DOI 10.1182/blood.v98.12.3376


The antigen-presenting dendritic cells (DCs) found in mouse lymphoid tissues are heterogeneous. Several types of DCs have been identified on the basis of the expression of different surface molecules, including CD4, CD8alpha, and DEC-205. Previous studies by the authors showed that the mouse intrathymic lymphoid-restricted precursors (lin(-)c-kit(+)Thy-1(low)CD4(low)) can produce DCs in the thymus and spleen upon intravenous transfer, suggesting a lymphoid origin of these DCs. In the current study, the potential for DC production by the newly identified bone marrow (BM) common lymphoid precursors (CLPs), common myeloid precursors (CMPs), and committed granulocyte and macrophage precursors was examined. It was found that both the lymphoid and the myeloid precursors had the potential to produce DCs. All the different DC populations identified in mouse thymus and spleen could be produced by all these precursor populations. However, CLPs produced predominantly the CD4(-)CD8alpha(+) DCs, whereas CMPs produced similar numbers of CD4(-)CD8alpha(+) and CD4(+)CD8alpha(-) DCs, although at different peak times. On a per cell basis, the CLPs were more potent than the CMPs at DC production, but this may have been compensated for by an excess of CMPs over CLPs in BM. Overall, this study shows that the expression of CD8alpha does not delineate the hemopoietic precursor origin of DCs, and the nature of the early precursors may bias but does not dictate the phenotype of the DC product.