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.
Copyright © 2016 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.