Human dendritic cells (DC) are key regulators of innate and adaptive immunity that can be divided in at least three major subpopulations: plasmacytoid DC (pDC), myeloid type 1 DC (mDC1) and myeloid type 2 DC (mDC2) exhibiting different functions. However, research, diagnostic and cell therapeutic studies on human DC subsets are limited because only few DC subset markers have been identified so far. Especially mDC2 representing the rarest blood DC subset are difficult to be separated from mDC1 and pDC due to a paucity of mDC2 markers. We have combined multiparameter flow cytometry analysis of human blood DC subsets with systematic expression analysis of 332 surface antigens in magnetic bead-enriched blood DC samples. The initial analysis revealed eight novel putative DC subset markers CD26, CD85a, CD109, CD172a, CD200, CD200R, CD275 and CD301 that were subsequently tested in bulk peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) samples from healthy blood donors. Secondary analysis of PBMC samples confirmed three novel DC subset markers CD26 (dipeptidyl peptidase IV), CD85a (Leukocyte immunoglobulin-like receptor B3) and CD275 (inducible costimulator ligand). CD85a is specifically expressed in mDC1 and CD26 and CD275 represent novel mDC2 markers. These markers will facilitate human DC subset discrimination and additionally provide insight into potentially novel DC subset-specific functions.
Keywords: Blood; Dendritic cells; Human.
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