Defining human dendritic cell progenitors by multiparametric flow cytometry

Nat Protoc. 2015 Sep;10(9):1407-22. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2015.092. Epub 2015 Aug 20.


Human dendritic cells (DCs) develop from progressively restricted bone marrow (BM) progenitors: these progenitor cells include granulocyte, monocyte and DC progenitor (GMDP) cells; monocyte and DC progenitor (MDP) cells; and common DC progenitor (CDP) and DC precursor (pre-DC) cells. These four DC progenitors can be defined on the basis of the expression of surface markers such as CD34 and hematopoietin receptors. In this protocol, we describe five multiparametric flow cytometry panels that can be used as a tool (i) to simultaneously detect or phenotype the four DC progenitors, (ii) to isolate DC progenitors to enable in vitro differentiation or (iii) to assess the in vitro differentiation and proliferation of DC progenitors. The entire procedure from isolation of cells to flow cytometry can be completed in 3-7 h. This protocol provides optimized antibody panels, as well as gating strategies, for immunostaining of BM and cord blood specimens to study human DC hematopoiesis in health, disease and vaccine settings.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bone Marrow Cells / physiology
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology*
  • Flow Cytometry / methods*
  • Humans
  • Stem Cells / cytology*