Solitary intestinal lymphoid tissues such as cryptopatches (CPs) and isolated lymphoid follicles (ILFs) constitute steady-state activation hubs containing group 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3) that continuously produce interleukin (IL)-22. The outer surface of CPs and ILFs is demarcated by a poorly characterized population of CD11c+ cells. Using genome-wide single-cell transcriptional profiling of intestinal mononuclear phagocytes and multidimensional flow cytometry, we found that CP- and ILF-associated CD11c+ cells were a transcriptionally distinct subset of intestinal cDCs, which we term CIA-DCs. CIA-DCs required programming by CP- and ILF-resident CCR6+ ILC3 via lymphotoxin-β receptor signaling in cDCs. CIA-DCs differentially expressed genes associated with immunoregulation and were the major cellular source of IL-22 binding protein (IL-22BP) at steady state. Mice lacking CIA-DC-derived IL-22BP exhibited diminished expression of epithelial lipid transporters, reduced lipid resorption, and changes in body fat homeostasis. Our findings provide insight into the design principles of an immunoregulatory checkpoint controlling nutrient absorption.
Keywords: cryptopatches; dendritic cells; innate lymphoid cells; interleukin 22 binding protein; isolated lymphoid follicles; solitary intestinal lymphoid tissues.
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