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The Journal of Experimental Medicine
Year: 2010  |  Volume: 206  |  Issue: 13  |  Page No.: 3101 - 3114

Intestinal CD103+, but not CX3CR1+, antigen sampling cells migrate in lymph and serve classical dendritic cell functions

O Schulz, E Jaensson, E. K Persson, X Liu, T Worbs, W. W Agace and O. Pabst    

Abstract:

Chemokine receptor CX3CR1+ dendritic cells (DCs) have been suggested to sample intestinal antigens by extending transepithelial dendrites into the gut lumen. Other studies identified CD103+ DCs in the mucosa, which, through their ability to synthesize retinoic acid (RA), appear to be capable of generating typical signatures of intestinal adaptive immune responses. We report that CD103 and CX3CR1 phenotypically and functionally characterize distinct subsets of lamina propria cells. In contrast to CD103+ DC, CX3CR1+ cells represent a nonmigratory gut-resident population with slow turnover rates and poor responses to FLT-3L and granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor. Direct visualization of cells in lymph vessels and flow cytometry of mouse intestinal lymph revealed that CD103+ DCs, but not CX3CR1-expressing cells, migrate into the gut draining mesenteric lymph nodes (LNs) under steady-state and inflammatory conditions. Moreover, CX3CR1+ cells displayed poor T cell stimulatory capacity in vitro and in vivo after direct injection of cells into intestinal lymphatics and appeared to be less efficient at generating RA compared with CD103+ DC. These findings indicate that selectively CD103+ DCs serve classical DC functions and initiate adaptive immune responses in local LNs, whereas CX3CR1+ populations might modulate immune responses directly in the mucosa and serve as first line barrier against invading enteropathogens.

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