Whether conventional dendritic cells (cDC) acquire subset identity under direction of Wnt family glycoproteins is unknown. We demonstrate that Wnt4, a β-catenin-independent Wnt ligand, is produced by both hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic cells and is both necessary and sufficient for preconventional DC1/cDC1 maintenance. Whereas bone marrow cDC precursors undergo phosphoJNK/c-Jun activation upon Wnt4 treatment, loss of cDC Wnt4 in CD11cCreWnt4flox/flox mice impaired differentiation of CD24+, Clec9A+, CD103+ cDC1 compared with CD11cCre controls. Conversely, single-cell RNA sequencing analysis of bone marrow revealed a 2-fold increase in cDC2 gene signature genes, and flow cytometry demonstrated increased numbers of SIRP-α+ cDC2 amid lack of Wnt4. Increased cDC2 numbers due to CD11c-restricted Wnt4 deficiency increased IL-5 production, group 2 innate lymphoid cell expansion, and host resistance to the hookworm parasite Nippostrongylus brasiliensis Collectively, these data uncover a novel and unexpected role for Wnt4 in cDC subset differentiation and type 2 immunity.
Copyright © 2019 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.