Martí et al. (OCT 2014)
Blood 124 15 2411--20
Human blood BDCA-1 dendritic cells differentiate into Langerhans-like cells with thymic stromal lymphopoietin and TGF-β.
The ontogeny of human Langerhans cells (LCs) remains poorly characterized, in particular the nature of LC precursors and the factors that may drive LC differentiation. Here we report that thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), a keratinocyte-derived cytokine involved in epithelial inflammation, cooperates with transforming growth factor (TGF)-β for the generation of LCs. We show that primary human blood BDCA-1(+), but not BDCA-3(+), dendritic cells (DCs) stimulated with TSLP and TGF-β harbor a typical CD1a(+)Langerin(+) LC phenotype. Electron microscopy established the presence of Birbeck granules, an intracellular organelle specific to LCs. LC differentiation was not observed from tonsil BDCA-1(+) and BDCA-3(+) subsets. TSLP + TGF-β LCs had a mature phenotype with high surface levels of CD80, CD86, and CD40. They induced a potent CD4(+) T-helper (Th) cell expansion and differentiation into Th2 cells with increased production of tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6 compared with CD34-derived LCs. Our findings establish a novel LC differentiation pathway from BDCA-1(+) blood DCs with potential implications in epithelial inflammation. Therapeutic targeting of TSLP may interfere with tissue LC repopulation from circulating precursors.
Diversification of human plasmacytoid predendritic cells in response to a single stimulus.
Innate immune cells adjust to microbial and inflammatory stimuli through a process termed environmental plasticity, which links a given individual stimulus to a unique activated state. Here, we report that activation of human plasmacytoid predendritic cells (pDCs) with a single microbial or cytokine stimulus triggers cell diversification into three stable subpopulations (P1-P3). P1-pDCs (PD-L1+CD80-) displayed a plasmacytoid morphology and specialization for type I interferon production. P3-pDCs (PD-L1-CD80+) adopted a dendritic morphology and adaptive immune functions. P2-pDCs (PD-L1+CD80+) displayed both innate and adaptive functions. Each subpopulation expressed a specific coding- and long-noncoding-RNA signature and was stable after secondary stimulation. P1-pDCs were detected in samples from patients with lupus or psoriasis. pDC diversification was independent of cell divisions or preexisting heterogeneity within steady-state pDCs but was controlled by a TNF autocrine and/or paracrine communication loop. Our findings reveal a novel mechanism for diversity and division of labor in innate immune cells.