Expression of CD11c Is Associated with Unconventional Activated T Cell Subsets with High Migratory Potential

Jamal Qualai, Lin Xi Li, Jon Cantero, Antoni Tarrats, Marco Antonio Fernández, Lauro Sumoy, Annie Rodolosse, Stephen J Mcsorley, Meritxell Genescà

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


CD11c is an α integrin classically employed to define myeloid dendritic cells. Although there is little information about CD11c expression on human T cells, mouse models have shown an association of CD11c expression with functionally relevant T cell subsets. In the context of genital tract infection, we have previously observed increased expression of CD11c in circulating T cells from mice and women. Microarray analyses of activated effector T cells expressing CD11c derived from naïve mice demonstrated enrichment for natural killer (NK) associated genes. Here we find that murine CD11c+ T cells analyzed by flow cytometry display markers associated with non-conventional T cell subsets, including γδ T cells and invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells. However, in women, only γδ T cells and CD8+ T cells were enriched within the CD11c fraction of blood and cervical tissue. These CD11c+ cells were highly activated and had greater interferon (IFN)-γ secretory capacity than CD11c- T cells. Furthermore, circulating CD11c+ T cells were associated with the expression of multiple adhesion molecules in women, suggesting that these cells have high tissue homing potential. These data suggest that CD11c expression distinguishes a population of circulating T cells during bacterial infection with innate capacity and mucosal homing potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e0154253
JournalPLoS One
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Qualai, J., Li, L. X., Cantero, J., Tarrats, A., Fernández, M. A., Sumoy, L., Rodolosse, A., Mcsorley, S. J., & Genescà, M. (2016). Expression of CD11c Is Associated with Unconventional Activated T Cell Subsets with High Migratory Potential. PLoS One, 11(4), e0154253.