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Dursun, Ezgi; Endele, Max; Musumeci, Andrea; Failmezger, Henrik; Wang, Shu-Hung; Tresch, Achim; Schroeder, Timm; Krug, Anne B. (2016): Continuous single cell imaging reveals sequential steps of plasmacytoid dendritic cell development from common dendritic cell progenitors. In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 6, 37462


Functionally distinct plasmacytoid and conventional dendritic cells (pDC and cDC) shape innate and adaptive immunity. They are derived from common dendritic cell progenitors (CDPs) in the murine bone marrow, which give rise to CD11c(+) MHCII- precursors with early commitment to DC subpopulations. In this study, we dissect pDC development from CDP into an ordered sequence of differentiation events by monitoring the expression of CD11c, MHC class II, Siglec H and CCR9 in CDP cultures by continuous single cell imaging and tracking. Analysis of CDP genealogies revealed a stepwise differentiation of CDPs into pDCs in a part of the CDP colonies. This developmental pathway involved an early CD11c(+) SiglecH(-) pre-DC stage and a Siglec H+ CCR9(low) precursor stage, which was followed rapidly by upregulation of CCR9 indicating final pDC differentiation. In the majority of the remaining CDP pedigrees however the Siglec H+ CCR9(low) precursor state was maintained for several generations. Thus, although a fraction of CDPs transits through precursor stages rapidly to give rise to a first wave of pDCs, the majority of CDP progeny differentiate more slowly and give rise to longer lived precursor cells which are poised to differentiate on demand.