The size of the plasmacytoid dendritic cell compartment is a multigenic trait dominated by a locus on mouse chromosome 7

J Immunol. 2012 Jun 1;188(11):5561-70. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1102136. Epub 2012 Apr 30.


Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) compose one of the many distinct dendritic cell subsets. The primary function of pDC is to potently produce type 1 IFNs upon stimulation, which is highly relevant in antiviral responses. Consequently, the ability to manipulate the size of the pDC compartment in vivo may increase the capacity to clear viral infections. In an attempt to identify genetic loci affecting the size of the pDC compartment, defined by both the proportion and absolute number of pDC, we undertook an unbiased genetic approach. Linkage analysis using inbred mouse strains identified a locus on chromosome 7 (Pdcc1) significantly linked to both the proportion and the absolute number of pDC in the spleen. Moreover, loci on either chromosome 11 (Pdcc2) or 9 (Pdcc3) modified the effect of Pdcc1 on chromosome 7 for the proportion and absolute number of pDC, respectively. Further analysis using mice congenic for chromosome 7 confirmed Pdcc1, demonstrating that variation within this genetic interval can regulate the size of the pDC compartment. Finally, mixed bone marrow chimera experiments showed that both the proportion and the absolute number of pDC are regulated by cell-intrinsic hematopoietic factors. Our findings highlight the multigenic regulation of the size of the pDC compartment and will facilitate the identification of genes linked to this trait.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Compartmentation / genetics
  • Cell Compartmentation / immunology*
  • Chromosomes, Mammalian / genetics
  • Chromosomes, Mammalian / immunology*
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology*
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Female
  • Genes, Dominant / genetics
  • Genes, Dominant / immunology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, 129 Strain
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Mice, Inbred NZB
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Radiation Chimera
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Spleen / immunology