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USBio Antibodies: Dendritic Cell Research Tools


Dendritic cells (DCs) play a pivotal role in establishing an immunological response.
DCs are important for antigen presentation. DCs can be generated in vitro from myeloid hematopoietic progenitors or from monocytes. Immature DCs patrol peripheral tissues and upon encounter with microbial products or other hazardous stimuli undergo maturation as they migrate to lymphoid tissue where they present antigen and activate naive T cells. There is a great diversity of DC Subtypes with considerable functional differences. In addition to their classic function to drive strong Th1-type adaptive responses, DCs can be polarized by microbial products towards a Th2- type response, or towards peripheral immune tolerance via the induction of regulatory T cells (Tregs).

Dendritics Cells Subtypes

Langerhans cells represent the DCs of epidermis and stratified mucosal epithelia and are characterized by their expression of Langerin/CD207. The semaphorin 6 SEMA 6A defines an activation status of Langerhans cells. DCs of the dermis or the lamina propria of mucosae (interstitial DCs) constitute more diverse populations, characterized by the expression of DC-SIGN/CD209 in humans. Positive identification of such DCs is supported by other markers such as DEC205/CD205, CD1a (in humans only) and the coagulation factor FXIIIa. Other molecules expressed by interstitial DCs, or subsets thereof, include the macrophage mannose receptor (MMR/CD206) and the macrophage galactose lectin/asialoglycoprotein receptor (CD301), DCIR, and FDF03.

Interdigitating DCs, localized in the T cell areas of secondary lymphoid tissue, express the lysosome-associated marker DC-LAMP, as well as the costimulatory molecules CD40, CD80, CD83, and CD54/ICAM1.

Natural Interferon-Producing Cell (IPC) or plasmacytoid DC (pDCs) differ from the conventional DCs. Phenotypically, pDC can be identified by their expression of BDCA2 (CD303, IL -3 receptor alpha chain (CD123), and lack of CD11c (ITAX), a feature of most other DCs. Neuropilin-1 is also expressed by pDCs, although not entirely restricted to this DC subtype. Mouse pDCs/IPCs display a cell -surface molecule recognized by monoclonal antibody 120G8 which is useful to identify this DC subtype. Functionally, pDCs are characterized by their capacity to produce high amounts of type - I interferons (IFN-a/b) upon viral stimulation. Conventional DCs which produce IL-12. pDC undergo further maturation in response to IL-3 plus CD40-ligand, or to the cytokines IFN-alpha or TNF-alpha.

Thymic DCs express markers such as Langerin/CD207 and DEC205/CD205, that are associated with other DC subtypes. Follicular DCs express the long-isoform of CR2/CD21, represent a cell type ontogenically distinct from all other DCs, and found within B lymphocyte follicles of secondary lymphoid tissue.

Dendritic Cell Antibodies

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