Differential Effects of the Cytokine Thymic Stromal Lymphopoietin on Human Dendritic Cell Subsets
- Publication Date
- Nov 29, 2013
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Once activated, Dendritic Cells (DCs) migrate to the lymphoid organs and exert their role as professional antigen presenting cells. They are able to induce the activation and differentiation of naïve T cells into different types of T helper cells. The T cell response must be suited to the type of inflammation. This is ensured by DCs at two levels. First DCs are functionally plastic. This means that their behavior is subdued to the integrated signals coming from the inflammatory microenvironment. Secondly, the DC population is diverse. Indeed, different DC subsets have different functional specializations. My thesis was focused on the differential response of human DC subsets to Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP). This cytokine is secreted by inflamed skin and epithelia, and strongly activates myeloid DCs. The TSLP-activated DCs secrete the inflammatory chemokines CCL17 and CCL22, prime an inflammatory Th2 response, and have been involved in the pathogenesis of allergic inflammation. By systematically comparing the response of human blood BDCA-1+ and BDCA-3+ DCs to TSLP stimulation we found that both of these DC subsets get activated by TSLP. However TSLP synergizes with TGF-β to induce the differentiation of blood BDCA-1+ and not BDCA-3+ DCs into Langerhans Cells. Moreover, TSLP induces cell migration and chemokine secretion only on the blood BDCA-1+ subset. Further analysis of the mechanisms implicated in TSLP-induced DC migration revealed that TSLP is required to induce DC migration, but this effect is dependent on the expression of a PTX-sensitive chemokine receptor. Overall our results reveal new precursor capacities of blood DC subsets, different functional properties of blood DC subsets stimulated by TSLP and highlight intricate mechanisms underlying TSLP-induced DC migration.