Dendritic cells (DCs) play a central role in innate immunity and adaptive immunity. DCs are antigen presenting cells capable of inducing primary T cell responses or facilitating self-tolerance. Myeloid DCs (mDC) express CD11c. They are further divided into Type 1 myeloid DCs (mDC1) which are CD1c+CD141+ and Type 2 mDCs (mDC2) which are CD1c-CD141+, and plasmacytoid DC which are CD11c- and express CD303. Plasmacytoid DCs are the main source of type 1 interferon upon infection. CD34+ cells are a heterogeneous population of cells which contain both hematopoietic progenitors and stem cells. The microarray signature of CD34+CXCR4 (CD184)+ cells in both human and non-human primates suggest that this cell population plays a role in innate immunity. The signaling pathway for the Triggering Receptor Expressed on Myeloid Cells 1 (TREM1) is the most up-regulated pathway in both human and non-human primate sorted CD34+CD184+ cells. The TREM family is involved in the amplification and regulation of inflammatory responses. Upon sorting both human and rhesus CD34+ cells into CD34+CD184+ and CD34+CD184-, we observe that CD34+CD184+ cells are both adherent and non-adherent in nature (Figure 1) and while maintained in Flt3-L, IL-3, and SCF form progeny which appear dendritic in nature (Figure 2). In addition, we have found the CD34+CD184+ subpopulation to be resistant to lentiviral vector transduction. Upon culturing in defined, serum free media supplemented with cytokines, the progeny of the CD34+CD184+ population using both flow cytometry and confocal microscopy are CD11c+ and contain both CD1c+ and CD1c- subpopulations (Figure 3) with a predominately CD80(B7-1)+, CD123(IL-3R)+, CD197 (CCR7)+ , and HLA-Dr+ immunophenotype, having variability in CD86(B7-2) +/-, CD141(BDCA-3/Thrombomodulin)+/- , and CD144 (VE-cadherin)+/- expression, and being negative for CD303(BDCA-2)and CD309(VEGFR). Of special interest is that the CD34+CD184+ progeny contain both CD1c-CD16+ and CD1c+CD16- subpopulations of mDC. CD1c-CD16+ mDC have been shown to have strong pro-inflammatory activity, whereas CD1c+CD16- mDC are mainly inducers of chemotaxis. The progeny of the CD34+CD184+ cells can be stimulated by LPS and IFNγ to produce IL-12 based on an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. These results demonstrate the importance of the CD34+CXCR4+ progenitor in mDC development and allow one to speculate on how this mDC progenitor might prove of therapeutic benefit in vaccine development and cancer therapy.
No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.
Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.
© 2013 by The American Society of Hematology