CX3CR1+ CD8α+ dendritic cells are a steady-state population related to plasmacytoid dendritic cells

Liat Bar-On, Tal Birnberg, Kanako L. Lewis, Brian T. Edelson, Dunja Bruder, Kai Hildner, Jan Buer, Kenneth M. Murphy, Boris Reizis, Steffen Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


Lymphoid organs are characterized by a complex network of phenotypically distinct dendritic cells (DC) with potentially unique roles in pathogen recognition and immunostimulation. Classical DC (cDC) include two major subsets distinguished in the mouse by the expression of CD8α. Here we describe a subset of CD8α+ DC in lymphoid organs of naïve mice characterized by expression of the CX3CR1 chemokine receptor. CX 3CR1+ CD8α+ DC lack hallmarks of classical CD8α+ DC, including IL-12 secretion, the capacity to crosspresent antigen, and their developmental dependence on the transcriptional factor BatF3. Gene-expression profiling showed that CX3CR1 + CD8α+ DC resemble CD8α- cDC. The microarray analysis further revealed a unique plasmacytoid DC (PDC) gene signature of CX3CR1+ CD8α+ DC. A PDC relationship of the cells is supported further by the fact that they harbor characteristic D-J Ig gene rearrangements and that development of CX 3CR1+ CD8α+ DC requires E2-2, the critical transcriptional regulator of PDC. Thus, CX3CR1+ CD8α+ DC represent a unique DC subset, related to but distinct from PDC. Collectively, the expression-profiling data of this study refine the resolution of previous DC definitions, sharpen the border of classical CD8α+ and CD8α- DC, and should assist the identification of human counterparts of murine DC subsets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14745-14750
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number33
StatePublished - Aug 17 2010


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