CD40 signaling in classical type 1 dendritic cells (cDC1s) is required for CD8 T cell-mediated tumor rejection, but the underlying mechanisms are incompletely understood. Here, we identified CD40-induced genes in cDC1s, including Cd70, Tnfsf9, Ptgs2 and Bcl2l1, and examined their contributions to anti-tumor immunity. cDC1-specific inactivation of CD70 and COX-2, and global CD27 inactivation, only partially impaired tumor rejection or tumor-specific CD8 T cell expansion. Loss of 4-1BB, alone or in Cd27−/− mice, did not further impair anti-tumor immunity. However, cDC1-specific CD40 inactivation reduced cDC1 mitochondrial transmembrane potential and increased caspase activation in tumor-draining lymph nodes, reducing migratory cDC1 numbers in vivo. Similar impairments occurred during in vitro antigen presentation by Cd40−/− cDC1s to CD8+ T cells, which were reversed by re-expression of Bcl2l1. Thus, CD40 signaling in cDC1s not only induces costimulatory ligands for CD8+ T cells but also induces Bcl2l1 that sustains cDC1 survival during priming of anti-tumor responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1536-1550
Number of pages15
JournalNature immunology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022


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