Existence of CD8 alpha-Like Dendritic Cells with a Conserved Functional Specialization and a Common Molecular Signature in Distant Mammalian Species

V. Contreras, C. Urien, R. Guiton, Y. Alexandre, T.-P.V. Manh, T. Andrieu, K. Crozat, L. Jouneau, N. Bertho, M. Epardaud, J. Hope, A. Savina, S. Amigorena, M. Bonneau, M. Dalod, I. Schwartz-Cornil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The mouse lymphoid organ-resident CD8 alpha(+) dendritic cell ( DC) subset is specialized in Ag presentation to CD8(+) T cells. Recent evidence shows that mouse nonlymphoid tissue CD103(+) DCs and human blood DC Ag 3(+) DCs share similarities with CD8 alpha(+) DCs. We address here whether the organization of DC subsets is conserved across mammals in terms of gene expression signatures, phenotypic characteristics, and functional specialization, independently of the tissue of origin. We study the DC subsets that migrate from the skin in the ovine species that, like all domestic animals, belongs to the Laurasiatheria, a distinct phylogenetic clade from the supraprimates (human/mouse). We demonstrate that the minor sheep CD26(+) skin lymph DC subset shares significant transcriptomic similarities with mouse CD8 alpha(+) and human blood DC Ag 3(+) DCs. This allowed the identification of a common set of phenotypic characteristics for CD8 alpha-like DCs in the three mammalian species (i.e., SIRP(lo), CADM1(hi), CLEC9A(hi), CD205(hi), XCR1(hi)). Compared to CD26(-) DCs, the sheep CD26(+) DCs show 1) potent stimulation of allogeneic naive CD8(+) T cells with high selective induction of the Ifn gamma and Il22 genes; 2) dominant efficacy in activating specific CD8(+) T cells against exogenous soluble Ag; and 3) selective expression of functional pathways associated with high capacity for Ag cross-presentation. Our results unravel a unifying definition of the CD8 alpha(+)-like DCs across mammalian species and identify molecular candidates that could be used for the design of vaccines applying to mammals in general. The Journal of Immunology, 2010, 185: 3313-3325.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)3313-3325
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD8/biosynthesis
  • Antigens, CD8/physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Dendritic Cells/immunology
  • Dendritic Cells/metabolism
  • Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4/biosynthesis
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling/methods
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Lymph/cytology
  • Lymph/immunology
  • Lymph/metabolism
  • Mice
  • Sheep, Domestic
  • Skin/cytology
  • Skin/immunology
  • Skin/metabolism
  • Species Specificity

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