Classical dendritic cells (cDCs) includes all dendritic cells other than plasmacytoid and inflammatory dendritic cells. In mice, there are two subsets of lymphoid tissue-resident cDCs that have been characterized, CD8 alpha+ cDCs and CD11b+ cDCs. These two subsets differ both phenotypically and functionally. In addition to these, there have been three subsets of nonlymphoid tissue/migratory cDCs described in mice including CD103+CD11b- cDCs, CD103-CD11b+ cDCs, and intestinal CD103+CD11b+ cDCs. Lymphoid tissue CD8 alpha+ cDCs and non-lymphoid tissue/migratory CD103+CD11b- cDCs are functionally similar in that they both have a superior ability to activate CD8+ T cells and preferentially prime Th1 and cytotoxic T cell responses. Similarly, lymphoid tissue and non-lymphoid tissue CD11b+ cDCs are functionally similar in that they are more proficient at activating CD4+ T cells and promoting Th2- or Th17-mediated immune responses. Each of these subsets can be identified by flow cytometry based on the expression of a specific group of cell surface markers. In humans, two subsets of cDCs have been identified, CD1c/BDCA-1+ cDCs and CD141/BDCA-3/Thrombomodulin+ cDCs. Although both subsets lack expression of CD8 alpha, transcriptome analysis showed that human CD141/BDCA-3/Thrombomodulin+ cDCs are related to mouse CD8 alpha+ cDCs, while CD1c/BDCA-1+ cDCs are related to mouse CD11b+ cDCs. Functionally, CD141/BDCA-3/Thrombomodulin+ cDCs are also similar to mouse CD8 alpha+ cDCs in that they preferentially activate CD8+ T cells and prime Th1 responses. In contrast, human CD1c/BDCA-1+ cDCs are more proficient at cross-presenting antigens to CD4+ T cells, suggesting that they are functionally equivalent to mouse CD11b+ cDCs. To view a more specific listing of the positive and negative markers associated with different human and mouse classical dendritic cell subsets, go to the Human or Mouse Tissue-specific Classical Dendritic Cell Subsets cell marker pages.
Human and Mouse Dendritic Cell Subsets Poster