ABSTRACT: Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) efficiently produce type I interferon and participate in adaptive immune responses, although the molecular interactions between pDCs and antigen-specific T cells remain unknown. This study examines immune synapse (IS) formation between murine pDCs and CD4(+) T cells. Mature pDCs formed canonical ISs, involving relocation to the contact site of the microtubule-organizing center, F-actin, protein kinase C-, and pVav, and activation of early signaling molecules in T cells. However, immature pDCs were less efficient at forming conjugates with T cells and inducing IS formation, microtubule-organizing center translocation, and T-cell signaling and activation. Time-lapse videomicroscopy and 2-photon in vivo imaging of pDC-T-cell interactions revealed that immature pDCs preferentially mediated transient interactions, whereas mature pDCs promoted more stable contacts. Our data indicate that, under steady-state conditions, pDCs preferentially establish transient contacts with naive T cells and show a very modest immunogenic capability, whereas on maturation, pDCs are able to form long-lived contacts with T cells and significantly enhance their capacity to activate these lymphocytes.
Blood 10/2008; 113(1):75-84. · 9.90 Impact Factor