Leukemic plasmacytoid dendritic cells share phenotypic and functional features with their normal counterparts

Eur J Immunol. 2004 Feb;34(2):418-26. doi: 10.1002/eji.200324531.


This work aims to further characterize the newly described leukemic plasmacytoid dendritic cells (LPDC), for which we had previously demonstrated their normal, PDC-like ability to produce IFN-alpha. In addition, LPDC also express the specific antigens BDCA-2 and BDCA-4. Importantly, they become fully competent antigen-presenting cells (APC) after a short maturation induced by IL-3 + CD40L or virus, exhibiting a characteristic APC phenotype (high expression of CD83 and of the costimulatory molecules CD40, CD80, CD86). Whereas IL-3 + CD40L-activated LPDC prime naive CD4(+) T cells towards a Th2 pathway (IL-4-secreting T cells), virus-activated LPDC drive a Th1 profile (IFN-gamma-secreting T cells). Moreover, we show in one case that LPDC are able to capture, process and present exogenous antigens, leading to the activation of both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell clones in an antigen-specific manner. This study further characterizes the phenotype and immunological functions of LPDC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antigen Presentation
  • Antigens, Surface / immunology
  • CD40 Ligand / immunology
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Child
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Interleukin-3 / immunology
  • Leukemia / immunology*
  • Leukemia / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Orthomyxoviridae / immunology


  • Antigens, Surface
  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-3
  • blood dendritic cell antigen 4, human
  • CD40 Ligand