Dendritic cells (DC) have been thought to represent a family of closely related cells with similar functions and developmental pathways. The best- characterized precursors are the epidermal Langerhans cells, which migrate to lymphoid organs and become activated DC in response to inflammatory stimuli. Here, we demonstrate that a large subset of DC in the T cell-dependent areas of human lymphoid organs are nonactivated cells and belong to a separate lineage that can be identified by high levels of the interleukin 3 receptor α chain (IL-3Rα(hi)). The CD34+IL-3Rα(hi) DC progenitors are of myeloid origin and are distinct from those that give rise to Langerhans cells in vitro. The IL-3Rα(hi) DC furthermore appear to migrate to lymphoid organs independently of inflammatory stimuli or foreign antigens. Thus, DC are heterogeneous with regard to function and ontogeny.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Nov 11 1997|
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