PU.1, a hematopoietic transcription factor, is absolutely required for development of myelo-lymphoid cells from hematopoietic stem cells (HSC). PU.1-deficient mice fail to develop common myeloid progenitors (CMPs) or common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs), resulting in complete loss of dendritic cells (DC) in addition to mature myeloid and lymphoid cells. In this study, by disrupting PU.1 specifically at the mature DC stage, we here show that PU.1 is necessary for maintenance of mature DC pool. By crossing PU.1 floxed/floxed mice with a mouse line harboring the Cre transgene driven by the CD11c-BAC, we disrupted PU.1 at the CD11c+ DC stage. In these mice, development of DC precursors such as Linc-KitloFLT3+MCSFR+ DC progenitors, FLT3+ CLP and FLT3+CMP were not affected. The number of CD11c+B220 DCs, however, significantly reduced in all lymphoid tissues including the thymus, the spleen, the lymph node and the skin, down to <30%, <10%, <10% and <5% of DC numbers in control mice, respectively. In contrast, mice possessed normal numbers of granulocytes/monocytes, B cells, and naïve, effector or regulatory T cells. These mice have not developed any significant hematological or immune disorders at least until 6 months after birth. These results clearly show that PU.1 is required not only for DC development but also for maintenance of the peripheral DC pool. We are currently trying to elucidate the underlying mechanism for PU.1 to maintain mature DC numbers in peripheral organs.

Disclosures: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

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