Lack of conventional dendritic cells is compatible with normal development and T cell homeostasis, but causes myeloid proliferative syndrome

Immunity. 2008 Dec 19;29(6):986-97. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2008.10.012. Epub 2008 Dec 8.


Dendritic cells are critically involved in the promotion and regulation of T cell responses. Here, we report a mouse strain that lacks conventional CD11c(hi) dendritic cells (cDCs) because of constitutive cell-type specific expression of a suicide gene. As expected, cDC-less mice failed to mount effective T cell responses resulting in impaired viral clearance. In contrast, neither thymic negative selection nor T regulatory cell generation or T cell homeostasis were markedly affected. Unexpectedly, cDC-less mice developed a progressive myeloproliferative disorder characterized by prominent extramedullary hematopoiesis and increased serum amounts of the cytokine Flt3 ligand. Our data identify a critical role of cDCs in the control of steady-state hematopoiesis, revealing a feedback loop that links peripheral cDCs to myelogenesis through soluble growth factors, such as Flt3 ligand.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Dendritic Cells / metabolism
  • Homeostasis / immunology
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins / immunology*
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Myeloproliferative Disorders / immunology*
  • Myeloproliferative Disorders / metabolism
  • Syndrome
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / metabolism


  • Membrane Proteins
  • flt3 ligand protein
  • Interferon-gamma