Murine precursors to type 1 conventional dendritic cells induce tumor cytotoxicity and exhibit activated PD-1/PD-L1 pathway

Megan S. Molina, Emely A. Hoffman, Jessica Stokes, Nicole Kummet, Richard J. Simpson, Emmanuel Katsanis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The immediate precursor to murine type 1 conventional DCs (cDC1s) has recently been established and named "pre-cDC1s". Mature CD8α+ cDC1s are recognized for suppressing graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) while promoting graft-versus-leukemia (GvL), however pre-cDC1s have not previously been investigated in the context of alloreactivity or antitumor responses. Characterization of pre-cDC1s, compared to CD8α+ cDC1s, found that a lower percentage of pre-cDC1s express PD-L1, yet express greater PD-L1 by MFI and a greater percent PIR-B, a GvHD-suppressing molecule. Functional assays were performed ex vivo following in vivo depletion of CD8α+ DCs to examine whether pre-cDC1s play a redundant role in alloreactivity. Proliferation assays revealed less allogeneic T-cell proliferation in the absence of CD8α+ cDC1s, with slightly greater CD8+ T-cell proliferation. Further, in the absence of CD8α+ cDC1s, stimulated CD8+ T-cells exhibited significantly less PD-1 expression compared to CD4+ T-cells, and alloreactive T-cell death was significantly lower, driven by reduced CD4+ T-cell death. Tumor-killing assays revealed that T-cells primed with CD8α-depleted DCs ex vivo induce greater killing of A20 B-cell leukemia cells, particularly when antigen (Ag) is limited. Bulk RNA sequencing revealed distinct transcriptional programs of these DCs, with pre-cDC1s exhibiting activated PD-1/PD-L1 signaling compared to CD8α+ cDC1s. These results indicate distinct T-cell-priming capabilities of murine precDC1s compared to CD8α+ cDC1s ex vivo, with potentially clinically relevant implications in suppressing GvHD while promoting GvL responses, highlighting the need for greater investigation of murine pre-cDC1s.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0273075
JournalPloS one
Issue number8 August
StatePublished - Aug 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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