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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)