Dendritic cells (DC) play an important role as antigen-presenting cells in T cell stimulation. Interestingly, a number of recent studies also imply DC as critical accessory cells in B cell activation, isotype switching and plasma blast maintenance. Here we use the conditional in vivo ablation of CD11chigh DC to investigate the role of these cells in T-independent type 2 immune responses. We show that CD11chigh DC are dispensable for the initiation and maintenance of a primary immune response against the T-independent type 2 antigen (4-hydroxy-3-nirophenyl)acetyl-Ficoll. Our results suggest that support for plasma cell formation in T cell-independent immune responses can be provided by non-DC such as stromal cells, or is independent of external signals. Interestingly, we found plasma blasts to express CD11c and to be diphtheria toxin-sensitive in CD11c-diphtheria toxin receptor-transgenic mice, providing a unique tool for future analysis of in vivo aspects of plasma cell biology.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)