PMID: 9927520Feb 2, 1999Paper

CD8alpha+ and CD8alpha- subclasses of dendritic cells direct the development of distinct T helper cells in vivo

The Journal of Experimental Medicine
R Maldonado-LópezM Moser


Cells of the dendritic family display some unique properties that confer to them the capacity to sensitize naive T cells in vitro and in vivo. In the mouse, two subclasses of dendritic cells (DCs) have been described that differ by their CD8alpha expression and their localization in lymphoid organs. The physiologic function of both cell populations remains obscure. Studies conducted in vitro have suggested that CD8alpha+ DCs could play a role in the regulation of immune responses, whereas conventional CD8alpha- DCs would be more stimulatory. We report here that both subclasses of DCs efficiently prime antigen-specific T cells in vivo, and direct the development of distinct T helper (Th) populations. Antigen-pulsed CD8alpha+ and CD8alpha- DCs are separated after overnight culture in recombinant granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor and injected into the footpads of syngeneic mice. Administration of CD8alpha- DCs induces a Th2-type response, whereas injection of CD8alpha+ DCs leads to Th1 differentiation. We further show that interleukin 12 plays a critical role in Th1 development by CD8alpha+ DCs. These findings suggest that the nature of the DC that presents the antigen to naive T cells may dictate the class selectio...Continue Reading


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