BLC (CXCL13) is expressed by different dendritic cell subsets in vitro and in vivo

Eur J Immunol. 2001 May;31(5):1544-9. doi: 10.1002/1521-4141(200105)31:5<1544::AID-IMMU1544>3.0.CO;2-I.


Dendritic cells (DC) attract both T and B lymphocytes to induce an efficient antigen-specific immune response. Recently, it was shown that naïve T cells are attracted to DC by dendritic cell chemokine 1 (DC-CK1, CCL18). The potent B lymphocyte chemoattractant BLC (CXCL13) was previously shown to be essential for homing of lymphocytes into secondary lymphoid organs and for the development of B cell follicles. As the cells that produce BLC are largely unknown and BLC could be a candidate chemokine for the recruitment of B cells to DC, we analyzed different DC subsets for expression of BLC. Here we demonstrate that monocyte-derived DC as well as activated blood DC indeed express and secrete BLC. Interestingly, ligation of the CD40 molecule down-regulated BLC expression in monocyte-derived DC. Staining of tonsilar sections indicated that BLC is expressed by follicular dendritic cells and germinal center dendritic cells (GCDC) in vivo. Real-time quantitative PCR confirmed the expression of BLC in isolated GCDC. Since both B cells and activated T cells express the receptor for BLC, our findings implicate an important role for BLC in establishing the interaction of DC with T cells and B cells. Furthermore, CD40/CD40 ligand interactions could modulate this process by down-regulating the expression of BLC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • CD40 Antigens / metabolism
  • CD40 Ligand / pharmacology
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chemokine CXCL13
  • Chemokines, CXC / genetics
  • Chemokines, CXC / metabolism*
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / metabolism*
  • Dendritic Cells, Follicular / cytology
  • Dendritic Cells, Follicular / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells, Follicular / metabolism*
  • Down-Regulation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Monocytes / cytology
  • Monocytes / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism


  • CD40 Antigens
  • CXCL13 protein, human
  • Chemokine CXCL13
  • Chemokines, CXC
  • RNA, Messenger
  • CD40 Ligand