Cutting Edge: ACVRL1 Signaling Augments CD8α+ Dendritic Cell Development

J Immunol. 2016 Aug 15;197(4):1029-34. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1501849. Epub 2016 Jul 15.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are a collection of different subtypes, each of which is characterized by specific surface markers, gene-expression patterns, and distinct functions. Members of the IFN regulatory factor family play critical roles in DC development and functions. Recently, Irf8 was shown to activate TGF-β signaling, which led to exacerbated neuroinflammation in the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis mouse model. We analyzed the effect of Irf8 on TGF-β/bone morphogenetic protein pathway-specific genes in DCs and identified Acvrl1, a type I TGF-β superfamily receptor, as a gene strongly induced by Irf8 expression. Among various DC subtypes, Acvrl1 is differentially expressed in CD8α(+) DCs. ACVRL1 signaling augmented Irf8-directed classical CD8α(+) DC development. Irf8 expression is essential for plasmacytoid DC and CD8α(+) DC development, and this study demonstrates that ACVRL1 signaling plays a pivotal role whereby it suppresses plasmacytoid DC development while enhancing that of CD8α(+) DCs, thus contributing to DC diversity development.

MeSH terms

  • Activin Receptors, Type I / immunology
  • Activin Receptors, Type I / metabolism*
  • Activin Receptors, Type II
  • Animals
  • CD8 Antigens / immunology
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology*
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology*
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Dendritic Cells / metabolism
  • Interferon Regulatory Factors / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Signal Transduction / immunology*


  • CD8 Antigens
  • CD8 antigen, alpha chain
  • Interferon Regulatory Factors
  • interferon regulatory factor-8
  • Activin Receptors, Type I
  • Activin Receptors, Type II
  • Acvrl1 protein, mouse