• Plasmacytoid dendritic cells;
  • Cell activation;
  • HMGB1;
  • RAGE;
  • Immunity


Dendritic cells (DC) are key components of innate and adaptive immune responses. Plasmacytoid DC (PDC) are a specialized DC subset that produce high amounts of type I interferons in response to microbes. High mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB1) is an abundant nuclear protein, which acts as a potent pro-inflammatory factor when released extracellularly. We show that HMGB1 leaves the nucleus of maturing PDC following TLR9 activation, and that PDC express on the plasma membrane the best-characterized receptor for HMGB1, RAGE. Maturation and type I IFN secretion of PDC is hindered when the HMGB1/RAGE pathway is disrupted. These results reveal HMGB1 and RAGE as the first known autocrine loop modulating the maturation of PDC, and suggest that antagonists of HMGB1/RAGE might have therapeutic potential for the treatment of systemic human diseases.