Infection of mice with murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) recapitulates many physiopathological characteristics of human CMV infection and enables studying the interactions between a virus and its natural host. Dendritic cells (DC) are mononuclear phagocytes linking innate and adaptive immunity which are both necessary for MCMV control. DC are critical for the induction of cellular immunity because they are uniquely efficient for the activation of naïve T cells during their first encounter with a pathogen. DC are equipped with a variety of innate immune recognition receptors (I2R2) allowing them to detect pathogens or infections and to engulf molecules, microorganisms or cellular debris. The combinatorial engagement of I2R2 during infections controls DC maturation and shapes their response in terms of cytokine production, activation of natural killer (NK) cells and functional polarization of T cells. Several DC subsets exist which express different arrays of I2R2 and are specialized in distinct functions. The study of MCMV infection helped deciphering the physiological roles of DC subsets and their molecular regulation. It allowed the identification and first in vivo studies of mouse plasmacytoid DC which produce high level of interferons-α/β early after infection. Despite its ability to infect DC and dampen their functions, MCMV induces very robust, efficient and long-lasting CD8 T cell responses. Their priming may rely on the unique ability of uninfected XCR1+ DC to cross-present engulfed viral antigens and thus to counter MCMV interference with antigen presentation. A balance appears to have been reached during co-evolution, allowing controlled replication of the virus for horizontal spread without pathological consequences for the immunocompetent host. We will discuss the role of the interplay between the virus and DC in setting this balance, and how advancing this knowledge further could help develop better vaccines against other intracellular infectious agents.
murine cytomegalovirus; plasmacytoid dendritic cells; XCR1+ dendritic cells; type I interferons; cross-presentation; NK cells; immune evasion; vaccination
Human monocyte-derived dendritic cell (MoDC) have been used in the clinic with moderately encouraging results. Mouse XCR1+ DC excel at cross-presentation, can be targeted in vivo to induce protective immunity, and share characteristics with XCR1+ human DC. Assessment of the immunoactivation potential of XCR1+ human DC is hindered by their paucity in vivo and by their lack of a well-defined in vitro counterpart. We report in this study a protocol generating both XCR1+ and XCR1− human DC in CD34+ progenitor cultures (CD34-DC). Gene expression profiling, phenotypic characterization, and functional studies demonstrated that XCR1− CD34-DC are similar to canonical MoDC, whereas XCR1+ CD34-DC resemble XCR1+ blood DC (bDC). XCR1+ DC were strongly activated by polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid but not LPS, and conversely for MoDC. XCR1+ DC and MoDC expressed strikingly different patterns of molecules involved in inflammation and in cross-talk with NK or T cells. XCR1+ CD34-DC but not MoDC efficiently cross-presented a cell-associated Ag upon stimulation by polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid or R848, likewise to what was reported for XCR1+ bDC. Hence, it is feasible to generate high numbers of bona fide XCR1+ human DC in vitro as a model to decipher the functions of XCR1+ bDC and as a potential source of XCR1+ DC for clinical use.
Human and animal hemorrhagic viruses initially target dendritic cells (DCs). It has been proposed, but not documented, that both plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) and conventional DCs (cDCs) may participate in the cytokine storm encountered in these infections. In order to evaluate the contribution of DCs in hemorrhagic virus pathogenesis, we performed a genome-wide expression analysis during infection by Bluetongue virus (BTV), a double-stranded RNA virus that induces hemorrhagic fever in sheep and initially infects cDCs. Both pDCs and cDCs accumulated in regional lymph nodes and spleen during BTV infection. The gene response profiles were performed at the onset of the disease and markedly differed with the DC subtypes and their lymphoid organ location. An integrative knowledge-based analysis revealed that blood pDCs displayed a gene signature related to activation of systemic inflammation and permeability of vasculature. In contrast, the gene profile of pDCs and cDCs in lymph nodes was oriented to inhibition of inflammation, whereas spleen cDCs did not show a clear functional orientation. These analyses indicate that tissue location and DC subtype affect the functional gene expression program induced by BTV and suggest the involvement of blood pDCs in the inflammation and plasma leakage/hemorrhage during BTV infection in the real natural host of the virus. These findings open the avenue to target DCs for therapeutic interventions in viral hemorrhagic diseases.
Type I interferons (IFN-I) were identified over 50 years ago as cytokines critical for host defense against viral infections. IFN-I promote anti-viral defense through two main mechanisms. First, IFN-I directly reinforce or induce de novo in potentially all cells the expression of effector molecules of intrinsic anti-viral immunity. Second, IFN-I orchestrate innate and adaptive anti-viral immunity. However, IFN-I responses can be deleterious for the host in a number of circumstances, including secondary bacterial or fungal infections, several autoimmune diseases, and, paradoxically, certain chronic viral infections. We will review the proposed nature of protective versus deleterious IFN-I responses in selected diseases. Emphasis will be put on the potentially deleterious functions of IFN-I in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection, and on the respective roles of IFN-I and IFN-III in promoting resolution of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. We will then discuss how the balance between beneficial versus deleterious IFN-I responses is modulated by several key parameters including (i) the subtypes and dose of IFN-I produced, (ii) the cell types affected by IFN-I, and (iii) the source and timing of IFN-I production. Finally, we will speculate how integration of this knowledge combined with advanced biochemical manipulation of the activity of the cytokines should allow designing innovative immunotherapeutic treatments in patients. Specifically, we will discuss how induction or blockade of specific IFN-I responses in targeted cell types could promote the beneficial functions of IFN-I and/or dampen their deleterious effects, in a manner adapted to each disease.
type I interferons; dendritic cells; chronic viral infections; immunotherapy; bioengineering
Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a life-threatening condition due to the association of an infectious agent with lymphocyte cytotoxicity defects, either of congenital genetic origin in children or presumably acquired in adults. In HLH patients, an excess of lymphocyte or macrophage cytokines, such as IFN-γ and TNFα is present in serum. In animal models of the disease, IFN-γ and TNF-α have been shown to play a central pathogenic role. In humans, unusually high concentrations of IL-18, an inducer of IFN-γ, and TNF-α have been reported, and are associated with an imbalance between IL-18 and its natural inhibitor IL-18 binding protein (IL-18BP) resulting in an excess of free IL-18. Here we studied whether IL-18BP could reduce disease severity in an animal model of HLH. Mouse cytomegalovirus infection in perforin-1 knock-out mice induced a lethal condition similar to human HLH characterized by cytopenia with marked inflammatory lesions in the liver and spleen as well as the presence of hemophagocytosis in bone marrow. IL-18BP treatment decreased hemophagocytosis and reversed liver as well as spleen damage. IL-18BP treatment also reduced both IFN-γ and TNF-α production by CD8+ T and NK cells, as well as Fas ligand expression on NK cell surface. These data suggest that IL-18BP is beneficial in an animal model of HLH and in combination with anti-infectious therapy may be a promising strategy to treat HLH patients.
IL-18; IL-18 binding protein; natural killer cells; hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis; macrophage activation syndrome
Immunological memory is a hallmark of B and T lymphocytes that have undergone a previous encounter with a given antigen. It is assumed that memory cells mediate better protection of the host upon re-infection because of improved effector functions such as antibody production, cytotoxic activity and cytokine secretion. In contrast to cells of the adaptive immune system, innate immune cells are believed to exhibit a comparable functional effector response each time the same pathogen is encountered. Here, using mice infected by the intracellular bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, we show that during a recall bacterial infection, the chemokine CCL3 secreted by memory CD8+ T cells drives drastic modifications of the functional properties of several populations of phagocytes. We found that inflammatory ly6C+ monocytes and neutrophils largely mediated memory CD8+ T cell bacteriocidal activity by producing increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), augmenting the pH of their phagosomes and inducing antimicrobial autophagy. These events allowed an extremely rapid control of bacterial growth in vivo and accounted for protective immunity. Therefore, our results provide evidence that cytotoxic memory CD8+ T cells can license distinct antimicrobial effector mechanisms of innate cells to efficiently clear pathogens.
The immune system comprises white blood cells that belong to the innate or the adaptive immune arms. Adaptive immune cells such as T and B lymphocytes can give rise to memory cells which mediate long-lived immunity against pathogens. During a recall infection, innate immune phagocytic cells such as monocytes and neutrophils can be critical to kill microbial pathogens inside infected tissues. Whether and how such antimicrobial features of phagocytic cells of the innate immune system are modulated during a memory response in a vaccinated host is not known. The present report shows that cytolytic memory T lymphocytes, an important subpopulation of effector T cells, can drastically enhance the functional killing capacities of monocytes and neutrophils for optimized pathogen clearance from infected hosts. These phagocytes exhibit enhanced generation of oxidative burst, increased phagosomal pH and autophagy, three mechanisms that lead to intracellular pathogen death. This result is important since it suggests that modulating innate immune cells effector activities could be an interesting strategy to enhance vaccine efficacy.
iNKT cell and pDC cross talk prevents type 1 diabetes by inducing T reg cells in the pancreatic lymph node during viral infection.
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease resulting from T cell–mediated destruction of insulin-producing β cells, and viral infections can prevent the onset of disease. Invariant natural killer T cells (iNKT cells) exert a regulatory role in T1D by inhibiting autoimmune T cell responses. As iNKT cell–plasmacytoid dendritic cell (pDC) cooperation controls viral replication in the pancreatic islets, we investigated whether this cellular cross talk could interfere with T1D development during viral infection. Using both virus-induced and spontaneous mouse models of T1D, we show that upon viral infection, iNKT cells induce TGF-β–producing pDCs in the pancreatic lymph nodes (LNs). These tolerogenic pDCs convert naive anti-islet T cells into Foxp3+ CD4+ regulatory T cells (T reg cells) in pancreatic LNs. T reg cells are then recruited into the pancreatic islets where they produce TGF-β, which dampens the activity of viral- and islet-specific CD8+ T cells, thereby preventing T1D development in both T1D models. These findings reveal a crucial cooperation between iNKT cells, pDCs, and T reg cells for prevention of T1D by viral infection.
Human BDCA3+ dendritic cells (DCs) were suggested to be homologous to mouse CD8α+ DCs. We demonstrate that human BDCA3+ DCs are more efficient than their BDCA1+ counterparts or plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) in cross-presenting antigen and activating CD8+ T cells, which is similar to mouse CD8α+ DCs as compared with CD11b+ DCs or pDCs, although with more moderate differences between human DC subsets. Yet, no specific marker was known to be shared between homologous DC subsets across species. We found that XC chemokine receptor 1 (XCR1) is specifically expressed and active in mouse CD8α+, human BDCA3+, and sheep CD26+ DCs and is conserved across species. The mRNA encoding the XCR1 ligand chemokine (C motif) ligand 1 (XCL1) is selectively expressed in natural killer (NK) and CD8+ T lymphocytes at steady-state and is enhanced upon activation. Moreover, the Xcl1 mRNA is selectively expressed at high levels in central memory compared with naive CD8+ T lymphocytes. Finally, XCR1−/− mice have decreased early CD8+ T cell responses to Listeria monocytogenes infection, which is associated with higher bacterial loads early in infection. Therefore, XCR1 constitutes the first conserved specific marker for cell subsets homologous to mouse CD8α+ DCs in higher vertebrates and promotes their ability to activate early CD8+ T cell defenses against an intracellular pathogenic bacteria.
Type-I interferons (IFN-I) are cytokines essential for vertebrate antiviral defense, including against herpesviruses. IFN-I have potent direct antiviral activities and also mediate a multiplicity of immunoregulatory functions, which can either promote or dampen antiviral adaptive immune responses. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) are the professional producers of IFN-I in response to many viruses, including all of the herpesviruses tested. There is strong evidence that pDCs could play a major role in the initial orchestration of both innate and adaptive antiviral immune responses. Depending on their activation pattern, pDC responses may be either protective or detrimental to the host. Here, we summarize and discuss current knowledge regarding pDC implication in the physiopathology of mouse and human herpesvirus infections, and we discuss how pDC functions could be manipulated in immunotherapeutic settings to promote health over disease.
plasmacytoid dendritic cell; type-I interferon; mouse cytomegalovirus; human cytomegalovirus; herpesvirus type 1; herpesvirus type 2; immunotherapy
Following the discovery of innate immune receptors, the topics of innate immunity and its role in defense against infective agents have recently blossomed into very active research fields, after several decades of neglect. Among innate immune cells, natural killer (NK) cells are endowed with the unique ability to recognize and kill cells infected with a variety of pathogens, irrespective of prior sensitization to these microbes. NK cells have a number of other functions, including cytokine production and immunoregulatory activities. Major advances have recently been made in the understanding of the role of NK cells in the physiopathology of infectious diseases. The cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating the acquisition of effector functions by NK cells and their triggering upon pathogenic encounters are being unraveled. The possibility that the power of NK cells could be harnessed for the design of innovative treatments against infections is a major incentive for biologists to further explore NK cell subset complexity and to identify the ligands that activate NK cell receptors.
hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis; IL-12; IL-15; intracellular bacteria; killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor; natural cytotoxicity receptor; natural killer cell; protozoan parasite; type I interferon; virus
Genome-wide expression profiling of mouse and human leukocytes reveal conserved transcriptional programs of plasmacytoid or conventional dendritic cell subsets.
Dendritic cells (DCs) are a complex group of cells that play a critical role in vertebrate immunity. Lymph-node resident DCs (LN-DCs) are subdivided into conventional DC (cDC) subsets (CD11b and CD8α in mouse; BDCA1 and BDCA3 in human) and plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs). It is currently unclear if these various DC populations belong to a unique hematopoietic lineage and if the subsets identified in the mouse and human systems are evolutionary homologs. To gain novel insights into these questions, we sought conserved genetic signatures for LN-DCs and in vitro derived granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) DCs through the analysis of a compendium of genome-wide expression profiles of mouse or human leukocytes.
We show through clustering analysis that all LN-DC subsets form a distinct branch within the leukocyte family tree, and reveal a transcriptomal signature evolutionarily conserved in all LN-DC subsets. Moreover, we identify a large gene expression program shared between mouse and human pDCs, and smaller conserved profiles shared between mouse and human LN-cDC subsets. Importantly, most of these genes have not been previously associated with DC function and many have unknown functions. Finally, we use compendium analysis to re-evaluate the classification of interferon-producing killer DCs, lin-CD16+HLA-DR+ cells and in vitro derived GM-CSF DCs, and show that these cells are more closely linked to natural killer and myeloid cells, respectively.
Our study provides a unique database resource for future investigation of the evolutionarily conserved molecular pathways governing the ontogeny and functions of leukocyte subsets, especially DCs.
Understanding the mechanisms that help promote protective immune responses to pathogens is a major challenge in biomedical research and an important goal for the design of innovative therapeutic or vaccination strategies. While natural killer (NK) cells can directly contribute to the control of viral replication, whether, and how, they may help orchestrate global antiviral defense is largely unknown. To address this question, we took advantage of the well-defined molecular interactions involved in the recognition of mouse cytomegalovirus (MCMV) by NK cells. By using congenic or mutant mice and wild-type versus genetically engineered viruses, we examined the consequences on antiviral CD8 T cell responses of specific defects in the ability of the NK cells to control MCMV. This system allowed us to demonstrate, to our knowledge for the first time, that NK cells accelerate CD8 T cell responses against a viral infection in vivo. Moreover, we identify the underlying mechanism as the ability of NK cells to limit IFN-α/β production to levels not immunosuppressive to the host. This is achieved through the early control of cytomegalovirus, which dramatically reduces the activation of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) for cytokine production, preserves the conventional dendritic cell (cDC) compartment, and accelerates antiviral CD8 T cell responses. Conversely, exogenous IFN-α administration in resistant animals ablates cDCs and delays CD8 T cell activation in the face of NK cell control of viral replication. Collectively, our data demonstrate that the ability of NK cells to respond very early to cytomegalovirus infection critically contributes to balance the intensity of other innate immune responses, which dampens early immunopathology and promotes optimal initiation of antiviral CD8 T cell responses. Thus, the extent to which NK cell responses benefit the host goes beyond their direct antiviral effects and extends to the prevention of innate cytokine shock and to the promotion of adaptive immunity.
To fight viral infections, vertebrates have developed a battery of innate and adaptive immune responses aimed at inhibiting viral replication or at killing infected cells. These responses include the early production of innate antiviral cytokines, especially interferons α and β (IFN-α/β), and the activation of cytotoxic lymphocytes such as the innate natural killer (NK) cells and the adaptive CD8 T cells. While critical for antiviral defense, cytokine or CD8 T cell responses can be detrimental or even fatal to the host when deregulated. Therefore, we need to better understand how the different arms of antiviral immunity are regulated. In particular, NK cells are proposed to play a protective role in a variety of viral infection in humans, but the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here, in a mouse model of cytomegalovirus infection, we demonstrate that NK cells prevent an excessive production of IFN-α/β and promote more efficient antiviral CD8 T cell responses. We thus show that NK cells can help promote health over disease during viral infections by regulating both innate and adaptive immune responses. It will be important to examine in humans whether NK cells control innate cytokine production to prevent immunopathology and to promote adaptive immunity against herpesviruses, HIV-1, influenza, or SARS.
Differentiation of dendritic cells (DCs) into particular subsets may act to shape innate and adaptive immune responses, but little is known about how this occurs during infections. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (PDCs) are major producers of interferon (IFN)-α/β in response to many viruses. Here, the functions of these and other splenic DC subsets are further analyzed after in vivo infection with murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV). Viral challenge induced PDC maturation, their production of high levels of innate cytokines, and their ability to activate natural killer (NK) cells. The conditions also licensed PDCs to efficiently activate CD8 T cells in vitro. Non-plasmacytoid DCs induced T lymphocyte activation in vitro. As MCMV preferentially infected CD8α+ DCs, however, restricted access to antigens may limit plasmacytoid and CD11b+ DC contribution to CD8 T cell activation. IFN-α/β regulated multiple DC responses, limiting viral replication in all DC and IL-12 production especially in the CD11b+ subset but promoting PDC accumulation and CD8α+ DC maturation. Thus, during defense against a viral infection, PDCs appear specialized for initiation of innate, and as a result of their production of IFN-α/β, regulate other DCs for induction of adaptive immunity. Therefore, they may orchestrate the DC subsets to shape endogenous immune responses to viruses.
plasmacytoid dendritic cell; interferon α/β; murine cytomegalovirus; antigen presentation; CD8 T lymphocyte
Interferon (IFN)-α/β and interleukin (IL)-12 are cytokines critical in defense against viruses, but their cellular sources and mechanisms of regulation for in vivo expression remain poorly characterized. The studies presented here identified a novel subset of dendritic cells (DCs) as major producers of the cytokines during murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) but not lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) infections. These DCs differed from those activated by Toxoplasma antigen but were related to plasmacytoid cells, as assessed by their CD8α+Ly6G/C+CD11b− phenotype. Another DC subset (CD8α2Ly6G/C−CD11b+) also contributed to IL-12 production in MCMV-infected immunocompetent mice, modestly. However, it dramatically increased IL-12 expression in the absence of IFN-α/β functions. Conversely, IFN-α/β production was greatly reduced under these conditions. Thus, a cross-regulation of DC subset cytokine responses was defined, whereby secretion of type I IFNs by CD8α+ DCs resulted in responses limiting IL-12 expression by CD11b+ DCs but enhancing overall IFN-α/β production. Taken together, these data indicate that CD8α+Ly6G/C+CD11b− DCs play important roles in limiting viral replication and regulating immune responses, through cytokine production, in some but not all viral infections. They also illustrate the plasticity of cellular sources for innate cytokines in vivo and provide new insights into the roles of IFNs in shaping immune responses to viruses.
DC; IL-12; IFN-α/β; MCMV; LCMV
HIV-specific CD8+ T cells play a major role in the control of virus during HIV primary infection (PI) but do not completely prevent viral replication. We used IFN-γ enzyme-linked immunospot assay and intracellular staining to characterize the ex vivo CD8+ T-cell responses to a large variety of HIV epitopic peptides in 24 subjects with early HIV PI. We observed HIV-specific responses in 71% of subjects. Gag and Nef peptides were more frequently recognized than Env and Pol peptides. The number of peptides recognized was low (median 2, range 0–6). In contrast, a much broader response was observed in 30 asymptomatic subjects with chronic infection: all were responders with a median of 5 peptides recognized (range 1–13). The frequency of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells among PBMC for a given peptide was of the same order of magnitude in both groups. The proportion of HIV-specific CD8+CD28– terminally differentiated T cells was much lower in PI than at the chronic stage of infection. The weakness of the immune response during HIV PI could partially account for the failure to control HIV. These findings have potential importance for defining immunotherapeutic strategies and establishing the goals for effective vaccination.
J. Clin. Invest. 104:1431–1439 (1999).
The ex vivo antiviral CD8+ repertoires of 34 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-seropositive patients with various CD4+ T-cell counts and virus loads were analyzed by gamma interferon enzyme-linked immunospot assay, using peptides derived from HIV type 1 and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Most patients recognized many HIV peptides, with markedly high frequencies, in association with all the HLA class I molecules tested. We found no correlation between the intensity of anti-HIV CD8+ responses and the CD4+ counts or virus load. In contrast, the polyclonality of anti-HIV CD8+ responses was positively correlated with the CD4+ counts. The anti-EBV responses were significantly less intense than the anti-HIV responses and were positively correlated with the CD4+ counts. Longitudinal follow-up of several patients revealed the remarkable stability of the anti-HIV and anti-EBV CD8+ responses in two patients with stable CD4+ counts, while both antiviral responses decreased in two patients with obvious progression toward disease. Last, highly active antiretroviral therapy induced marked decreases in the number of anti-HIV CD8+ T cells, while the anti-EBV responses increased. These findings emphasize the magnitude of the ex vivo HIV-specific CD8+ responses at all stages of HIV infection and suggest that the CD8+ hyperlymphocytosis commonly observed in HIV infection is driven mainly by virus replication, through intense, continuous activation of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells until ultimate progression toward disease. Nevertheless, highly polyclonal anti-HIV CD8+ responses may be associated with a better clinical status. Our data also suggest that a decrease of anti-EBV CD8+ responses may occur with depletion of CD4+ T cells, but this could be restored by highly active antiretroviral treatment.
The great variability of protein sequences from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 (HIV-1) isolates represents a major obstacle to the development of an effective vaccine against this virus. The surface protein (Env), which is the predominant target of neutralizing antibodies, is particularly variable. Here we examine the impact of variability among different HIV-1 subtypes (clades) on cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) activities, the other major component of the antiviral immune response. CTLs are produced not only against Env but also against other structural proteins, as well as some regulatory proteins. The genetic subtypes of HIV-1 were determined for Env and Gag from several patients infected either in France or in Africa. The cross-reactivities of the CTLs were tested with target cells expressing selected proteins from HIV-1 isolates of clade A or B or from HIV type 2 isolates. All African patients were infected with viruses belonging to clade A for Env and for Gag, except for one patient who was infected with a clade A Env-clade G Gag recombinant virus. All patients infected in France were infected with clade B viruses. The CTL responses obtained from all the African and all the French individuals tested showed frequent cross-reactions with proteins of the heterologous clade. Epitopes conserved between the viruses of clades A and B appeared especially frequent in Gag p24, Gag p18, integrase, and the central region of Nef. Cross-reactivity also existed among Gag epitopes of clades A, B, and G, as shown by the results for the patient infected with the clade A Env-clade G Gag recombinant virus. These results show that CTLs raised against viral antigens from different clades are able to cross-react, emphasizing the possibility of obtaining cross-immunizations for this part of the immune response in vaccinated individuals.
DCs express receptors sensing microbial, danger or cytokine signals, which when triggered in combination drive DC maturation and functional polarization. Maturation was proposed to result from a discrete number of modifications in conventional DCs (cDCs), in contrast to a cell-fate conversion in plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs). cDC maturation is generally assessed by measuring cytokine production and membrane expression of MHC class II and co-stimulation molecules. pDC maturation complexity was demonstrated by functional genomics. Here, pDCs and cDCs were shown to undergo profound and convergent changes in their gene expression programs in vivo during viral infection. This observation was generalized to other stimulation conditions and DC subsets, by public microarray data analyses, PCR confirmation of selected gene expression profiles, and gene regulatory sequence bioinformatics analyses. Thus, maturation is a complex process similarly reshaping all DC subsets, including through the induction of a core set of NF-κB- or IFN-stimulated genes irrespective of stimuli.
Dendritic cell subsets; Gene expression profiling; Human; Maturation; Mouse