Identification and characterization of a dendritic cell precursor in parenchymal lung tissue

Christophe Von Garnier, Fabian Blank, Barbara Rothen-Rutishauser, Joachim R. Goethert, Patrick G. Holt, Philip A. Stumbles, Deborah H. Strickland

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The pulmonary parenchymal and mucosal microenvironments are constantly exposed to the external environment and thus require continuous surveillance to maintain steady-state immunological homeostasis. This is achieved by a mobile network of pulmonary dendritic cells (DC) andmacrophages (mø) that constantly sample and process microenvironmental antigens into signals that can initiate or dampen inflammation, either locally or after onward migration to draining lymph nodes. The constant steady-state turnover of pulmonary DC and mø requires replenishment from bone marrow precursors; however, the nature of the pulmonary precursor cell (PC) remains unclear, although recent studies suggest that subsets of pulmonary DC may derive from circulating monocytic precursors. In the current study,wedescribe apopulation of cells in steady-statemouse lung tissue that has the surface phenotypic and ultrastructural characteristics of a common DC progenitor. Irradiation and reconstitution studies confirmed the bone marrow origins of this PC and showed that it had rapid depletion and reconstitution kinetics that were similar to those of DC, with a 50% repopulation by donor-derived cells by Days 7-9 after reconstitution. This was significantly faster than the rates observed for mø, which showed 50% repopulation by donorderived cells beyond Days 16-21 after reconstitution. Purified PC gained antigen-presenting function and a cell surface phenotype similar to that of pulmonary DC after maturation in vitro, with light and electron microscopy confirming a myeloid DC morphology. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to describe a PC for DC in lung tissue; the findings have implications for the restoration of pulmonary immunological homeostasis after bone marrow transplant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-361
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


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