A distinct pattern of cytokine gene expression by human CD83+ blood dendritic cells

LJ Zhou and TF Tedder


Dendritic cells are the most potent antigen-presenting cells of the immune system. Although dendritic cells are likely to secrete selective cytokines that facilitate antigen presentation, the difficulty in isolating pure dendritic cells in sufficient numbers has made assessment of this function imprecise. In this study, pure populations of CD83+ human blood dendritic cells were isolated by previously established enrichment procedures and subsequent cell sorting. Cytokine gene expression was assessed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) amplification of mRNA. Resting CD83+ dendritic cells expressed interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-8, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor- alpha (TNF-alpha), and transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-beta 1) mRNA, while activation of cells with phorbol myristate acetate induced IL-1 alpha and beta, IL-9, TNF-beta, interferon-gamma, granulocyte- macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), M-CSF, and G-CSF mRNA expression. Resting CD83+ cells also expressed the Rantes, MCP-1, MIP-1 alpha, and MIP-1 beta chemokines, with 1–309 expression induced upon activation. Resting and activated CD83+ dendritic cells also expressed receptors for IL-2 (CD25), TGF-beta 1 and -beta 3, and GM-CSF as determined by indirect immunofluorescence staining. These results indicate that dendritic cells have the ability to produce a variety of soluble factors which are likely to contribute substantially to the potent allostimulatory activity of these cells.