Dendritic cells (DCs) are major players for the induction of immune responses. Apart from plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs), human DCs can be categorized into two types of conventional DCs: CD141+ DCs (cDC1) and CD1c+ DCs (cDC2). Defining uniquely expressed surface markers on human immune cells is not only important for the identification of DC subpopulations but also a prerequisite for harnessing the DC subset-specific potential in immunomodulatory approaches, such as antibody-mediated antigen targeting. Although others identified CLEC9A as a specific endocytic receptor for CD141+ DCs, such a receptor for CD1c+ DCs has not been discovered, yet. By performing transcriptomic and flow cytometric analyses on human DC subpopulations from different lymphohematopoietic tissues, we identified CLEC10A (CD301, macrophage galactose-type C-type lectin) as a specific marker for human CD1c+ DCs. We further demonstrate that CLEC10A rapidly internalizes into human CD1c+ DCs upon binding of a monoclonal antibody directed against CLEC10A. The binding of a CLEC10A-specific bivalent ligand (the MUC-1 peptide glycosylated with N-acetylgalactosamine) is limited to CD1c+ DCs and enhances the cytokine secretion (namely TNFα, IL-8, and IL-10) induced by TLR 7/8 stimulation. Thus, CLEC10A represents not only a candidate to better define CD1c+ DCs-due to its high endocytic potential-CLEC10A also exhibits an interesting candidate receptor for future antigen-targeting approaches.
Keywords: CD1c+ dendritic cells; CLEC10A; antigen targeting; cDC2; dendritic cell subpopulations; lineage marker.