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Keywords:

  • Chlamydia muridarum;
  • conventional dendritic cell;
  • plasmacytoid dendritic cell

Abstract

Dendritic cells (DCs) are central for the induction of T-cell responses needed for chlamydial eradication. Here, we report the activation of two DC subsets: a classical CD11b+ (cDC) and plasmacytoid (pDC) during genital infection with Chlamydia muridarum. Genital infection induced an influx of cDC and pDC into the genital tract and its draining lymph node (iliac lymph nodes, ILN) as well as colocalization with T cells in the ILN. Genital infection with C. muridarum also stimulated high levels of costimulatory molecules on cDC central for the activation of naïve T cells in vivo. In contrast, pDC expressed low levels of most costimulatory molecules in vivo and did not secrete cytokines associated with the production of T helper (Th)1 cells in vitro. However, pDC upregulated inducible costimulatory ligand expression and produced IL-6 and IL-10 in response to chlamydial exposure in vitro. Our findings show that these two DC subsets likely have different functions in vivo. cDCs are prepared for induction of antichlamydial T-cell responses, whereas pDCs have characteristics associated with the differentiation of non-Th1 cell subsets.