Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) detect viruses initiating antiviral type I interferon responses. The microbiota is known to shape immune responses, but whether it influences pDC homeostasis and/or function is poorly understood. By comparing pDCs in germ-free and specific pathogen-free mice, we found that the microbiota supports homeostatic trafficking by eliciting constitutive levels of the chemokine CCL2 that engages CCR2. Mononuclear phagocytes were required for tonic CCL2 levels. CCL2 was particularly important for trafficking of a CCR2 hi subset of pDCs that produced proinflammatory cytokines and was prone to apoptosis. We further demonstrated that CCR2 was also essential for pDC migration during inflammation. Wild-type (WT):Ccr2 -/- mixed bone marrow chimeras revealed that CCR2 promotes pDC migration in a cell-intrinsic manner. Overall, we identify a novel role for the microbiota in shaping immunity, which includes induction of CCL2 levels that control homeostatic trafficking of pDCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)936-945
Number of pages10
JournalMucosal Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017


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