Subsets of CD1c+ DCs: Dendritic Cell Versus Monocyte Lineage

Front Immunol. 2020 Sep 30;11:559166. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.559166. eCollection 2020.


Currently three bona fide dendritic cell (DC) types are distinguished in human blood. Herein we focus on type 2 DCs (DC2s) and compare the three defining markers CD1c, CD172, and CD301. When using CD1c to define DC2s, a CD14+ and a CD14- subset can be detected. The CD14+ subset shares features with monocytes, and this includes substantially higher expression levels for CD64, CD115, CD163, and S100A8/9. We review the current knowledge of these CD1c+CD14+ cells as compared to the CD1c+CD14- cells with respect to phenotype, function, transcriptomics, and ontogeny. Here, we discuss informative mutations, which suggest that two populations have different developmental requirements. In addition, we cover subsets of CD11c+CD8- DC2s in the mouse, where CLEC12A+ESAMlow cells, as compared to the CLEC12A-ESAMhigh subset, also express higher levels of monocyte-associated markers CD14, CD3, and CD115. Finally, we summarize, for both man and mouse, the data on lower antigen presentation and higher cytokine production in the monocyte-marker expressing DC2 subset, which demonstrate that the DC2 subsets are also functionally distinct.

Keywords: CD14; CD172; CD1c; CD301; DC subsets; DC2; dendritic cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD1 / metabolism*
  • Antigens, Differentiation / metabolism
  • Asialoglycoproteins / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Lectins, C-Type / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Monocytes / immunology*
  • Receptors, Immunologic / metabolism


  • Antigens, CD1
  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • Asialoglycoproteins
  • CD1C protein, human
  • Clec10a protein, mouse
  • Cytokines
  • Glycoproteins
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • SIRPA protein, human