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Keywords:

  • Dendritic cells;
  • cross-presentation;
  • spleen;
  • bone marrow

Abstract

A novel dendritic-like cell subset termed L-DC was recently identified in murine spleen based on marker expression of a homogeneous cell population derived from long-term culture of neonatal spleen. The function of L-DC is distinct from other splenic dendritic and myeloid cell subsets because of their high endocytic capacity and their ability to cross-present antigen to CD8+ T cells. This paper shows the subset to be unique to spleen and blood, with a similar, but possibly functionally distinct subset also present in bone marrow. The prevalence of the subset is low; ~6% of all dendritic and myeloid cells in the spleen and ~5% in blood. However, they are a distinct cell type on the basis of marker expression, and endocytic and T-cell stimulatory capacity. Attempts to identify an enriched population of these cells in mutant mouse strains with reported increases in myelopoiesis showed either a lack of L-DC or an altered phenotype reflective of the phenotype of the mouse strain.