Schäkel, Knut; Poppe, Claudia; Mayer, Elfriede; Federle, Christine; Riethmüller, Gert; Rieber, Ernst Peter
M-DC8+leukocytes - A novel human dendritic cell population.
In: Pathobiology, No. 5-6: pp. 287-290
Dendritic cells (DC) constitute a heterogeneous leukocyte population having in common a unique capacity to induce primary T cell responses and are therefore most attractive candidates for immunomodulatory strategies. Two populations of blood DC (CD11c+ CD123(dim) and CD11c- CD123(high)) have been defined so far. However, their direct isolation for experimental purposes is hampered by their low frequency and by the lack of selective markers allowing large scale purification from blood. Here we describe the monoclonal antibody (mAb) M-DC8, which was generated by immunizing mice with highly enriched blood DC. This mAb specifically reacts with 0.2-1% of blood leukocytes and enables their direct isolation by a one-step immunomagnetic procedure from fresh mononuclear cells. These cells can be differentiated from T cells, B cells, NK cells and monocytes using lineage-specific antibodies. M-DC8+ cells express HLA class It molecules, CD33 and low levers of the costimulatory molecules CD86 and CD40. Upon in vitro culture M-DC8+ cells spontaneously mature into cells with the phenotype of highly stimulatory cells as documented by the upregulation of HLA-DR, CD86 and CD40; in parallel CD80 expression is induced. M-DC8+ cells display an outstanding capacity to present antigen. In particular, they proved to be excellent stimulators of autologous mixed leukocyte reaction and to activate T cells against primary antigens such as keyhole limpet hemocyanin. Furthermore, they induce differentiation of purified allogeneic cytotoxic T cells into alloantigen-specific cytotoxic effector cells. While the phenotypical analysis reveals similarities with the two known blood DC populations, the characteristic expression of Fc gamma RIII (CD16) and the M-DC8 antigen clearly defines them as a novel population of blood DC. The mAb M-DC8 might thus be a valuable tool to determine circulating DC for diagnostic purposes and to isolate these cells for studies of antigen-specific T cell priming. Copyright (C) 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel.