CD103+CD11b salivary gland dendritic cells have antigen cross-presenting capacity

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Dendritic cells (DCs) in lymphoid and non-lymphoid tissues are professional antigen-presenting cells that are essential for effective immunity and tolerance. However, the presence and characteristics of DCs in steady-state salivary glands (SGs) currently remain unknown. We herein identified CD64CD11c+ classical DCs (cDCs) as well as CD64+ macrophages among CD45+MHC class II+ antigen-presenting cells in steady-state murine SGs. SG cDCs were divided into CD103+CD11b and CD103CD11b+ cDCs. CD103+CD11b cDCs expressed XCR1, CLEC9A, and interferon regulatory factor 8, whereas CD103CD11b+ cDCs strongly expressed CD172a. Both cDC subsets in SGs markedly expanded in response to the Flt3 ligand (Flt3L), were replenished by bone marrow-derived precursors, and differentiated from common DC precursors, but not monocytes. Furthermore, ovalbumin-pulsed SG CD103+CD11b cDCs induced the proliferation of naïve ovalbumin-specific CD8+ T cells and production of interferon-γ from proliferating T cells. SG CD103+CD11b cDCs expanded by Flt3L in vivo exhibited the same properties. These results indicate that bona fide cDCs reside in steady-state murine SGs and cDCs with the CD103+CD11b phenotype possess antigen cross-presenting capacity. Moreover, Flt3L enhances protective immunity by expanding cDCs. Taken together, SG cDCs might play an important role in maintaining immune homeostasis in the tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-313
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Feb 1


  • Cross-presentation
  • Dendritic cells
  • Host defense
  • Immune homeostasis
  • Progenitors
  • Salivary glands


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