Lymphoid organs contain a B220+CD11c+NK1.1 + cell population that was recently characterized as a novel dendritic cell (DC) subset that functionally overlaps with natural killer (NK) cells and plasmacytoid DCs (PDCs). Using Siglec-H and NK1.1 markers, we unambiguously dissected B220+CD11c+ cells and found that PDCs are the only professional interferon (IFN)-α- producing cells within this heterogeneous population. In contrast, B220+ CD11c +NK1.1+ cells are a discrete NK cell subset capable of producing higher levels of IFN-γ than conventional NK cells. Unlike DCs, only a minute fraction of B220+CD11c+ NK1.1+ cells in the spleen expressed major histocompatibility complex class II ex vivo or after stimulation with CpG. Consistent with being a NK cell subset, B220 +CD11c+NK1.1+ cells depended primarily on interleukin 15 and common cytokine receptor γ chain signaling for their development. In terms of function, expression of distinctive cell surface receptors, and location in lymphoid organs, NK1.1+B220 +CD11c+ appear to be the murine equivalent of human CD56bright NK cells. JEM

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2561-2568
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Oct 29 2007


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