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Gene family clustering identifies functionally associated subsets of human in vivo blood and tonsillar dendritic cells

  • Malin Lindstedt
  • Kristina Lundberg
  • Carl Borrebaeck
Publishing year: 2005
Language: English
Pages: 4839-4846
Publication/Series: Journal of Immunology
Volume: 175
Issue: 8
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: American Association of Immunologists

Abstract english

Human dendritic cells (DCs) are a distinct but heterogeneous lineage of APCs operating as the link between innate and adaptive immune responses, with the function to either maintain,tolerance or trigger immunity. The DC lineage consists of several subpopulations with unique phenotypes; however, their functional characteristics and transcriptional similarities remain largely unknown. To further characterize the phenotypes and transcriptomes of the subsets, we purified myeloid CD16(+), blood DC Ag 1(+) (BDCA1(+)), and BDCA3(+) DC populations, as well as plasmacytoid CD123(+) DCs, from tonsillar tissue and peripheral blood. Transcriptional profiling and hierarchical clustering visualized that BDCA1(+) DCs clustered with BDCA3(+) DCs, whereas CD16+ DCs and CD123(+) DCs clustered as distinct populations in blood. Differential expression levels of chemokines, ILs, and pattern recognition receptors were demonstrated, which emphasize innate DC subset specialization. Even though highly BDCA1(+) and BDCA3(+) DC-specific gene expression was identified in blood, the BDCA1(+) DCs and BDCA3(+) DCs from tonsils displayed similar transcriptional activity, most likely due to the pathogenic or inflammatory maturational signals present in tonsillar tissues. Of note, plasmacytoid DCs displayed less plasticity in their transcriptional activity compared with myeloid DCs. The data demonstrated a functionally distinct association of each of the seven subsets based on their signatures, involving regulatory genes in adaptive and innate immunity.


  • Immunology in the medical area


  • ISSN: 1550-6606
Carl Borrebaeck
E-mail: carl [dot] borrebaeck [at] immun [dot] lth [dot] se


Department of Immunotechnology




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