[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The AP1 transcription factor Batf3 is required for homeostatic development of CD8α(+) classical dendritic cells that prime CD8 T-cell responses against intracellular pathogens. Here we identify an alternative, Batf3-independent pathway in mice for CD8α(+) dendritic cell development operating during infection with intracellular pathogens and mediated by the cytokines interleukin (IL)-12 and interferon-γ. This alternative pathway results from molecular compensation for Batf3 provided by the related AP1 factors Batf, which also functions in T and B cells, and Batf2 induced by cytokines in response to infection. Reciprocally, physiological compensation between Batf and Batf3 also occurs in T cells for expression of IL-10 and CTLA4. Compensation among BATF factors is based on the shared capacity of their leucine zipper domains to interact with non-AP1 factors such as IRF4 and IRF8 to mediate cooperative gene activation. Conceivably, manipulating this alternative pathway of dendritic cell development could be of value in augmenting immune responses to vaccines.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Distinguishing dendritic cells (DCs) from other cells of the mononuclear phagocyte system is complicated by the shared expression of cell surface markers such as CD11c. In this study, we identified Zbtb46 (BTBD4) as a transcription factor selectively expressed by classical DCs (cDCs) and their committed progenitors but not by plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs), monocytes, macrophages, or other lymphoid or myeloid lineages. Using homologous recombination, we replaced the first coding exon of Zbtb46 with GFP to inactivate the locus while allowing detection of Zbtb46 expression. GFP expression in Zbtb46(gfp/+) mice recapitulated the cDC-specific expression of the native locus, being restricted to cDC precursors (pre-cDCs) and lymphoid organ- and tissue-resident cDCs. GFP(+) pre-cDCs had restricted developmental potential, generating cDCs but not pDCs, monocytes, or macrophages. Outside the immune system, Zbtb46 was expressed in committed erythroid progenitors and endothelial cell populations. Zbtb46 overexpression in bone marrow progenitor cells inhibited granulocyte potential and promoted cDC development, and although cDCs developed in Zbtb46(gfp/gfp) (Zbtb46 deficient) mice, they maintained expression of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor and leukemia inhibitory factor receptors, which are normally down-regulated in cDCs. Thus, Zbtb46 may help enforce cDC identity by restricting responsiveness to non-DC growth factors and may serve as a useful marker to identify rare cDC progenitors and distinguish between cDCs and other mononuclear phagocyte lineages.
Journal of Experimental Medicine 05/2012; 209(6):1135-52. · 13.21 Impact Factor