Dendritic cells (DCs) are important in regulating immunity and tolerance and consist of functionally distinct subsets that differentially regulate T lymphocyte function. The underlying basis for this subset specificity is lacking, particularly in humans, where the classification of tissue DCs is currently incomplete. Examination of healthy human epidermal Langerhans cells and dermal skin cells revealed a tissue CD5-expressing DC subtype. The CD5+ DCs were potent inducers of cytotoxic T cells and Th22 cells. The products of these T cells, IL-22 and IFN-γ, play a key role in the pathogenesis of psoriasis. Remarkably, CD5+ DCs were significantly enriched in lesional psoriatic skin compared with distal tissues, suggesting their involvement in the disease. We show that CD5+ DCs can be differentiated from hematopoietic progenitor cells independently of the CD5- DCs. A progenitor population found in human cord blood and in the dermal skin layer, marked as CD34-CD123+CD117dimCD45RA+, was an immediate precursor of these CD11c+CD1c+CD5+ DCs. Overall, our discovery of the CD5-expressing DC subtype suggests that strategies to regulate their composition or function in the skin will represent an innovative approach for the treatment of immune-mediated disorders in and beyond the skin.
- Dendritic cells