Heterogeneity of dendritic cells in the mouse liver: Identification and characterization of four distinct populations

Zhe Xiong Lian, Tomoyuki Okada, Xiaosong He, Hiroto Kita, Yong Jun Liu, Aftab A. Ansari, Kentaro Kikuchi, Susumu Ikehara, M. Eric Gershwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


Liver dendritic cells (DC) are believed to play important roles in liver immunity, autoimmunity, and in the regulation of hepatic allograft acceptance. However, limited information is available on the phenotypes and functions of DC in the liver. To address this issue, we isolated DC from murine liver using procedures that do not involve collagenase, and characterized the freshly isolated DC population that had not been subjected to in vitro expansion. Thence, based on the expression of CD4, B220, and CD11b, four subsets or groups of hepatic NK1.1-CD11c+ DC were identified with the following phenotypes: B220+CD4+, B220+CD4-, B220-CD11b+, and B220-CD11b-. Each subset was further characterized both phenotypically and functionally. In addition to unique phenotypic expression, each subset displayed different allostimulation capability in mixed lymphocyte reaction assays. All four groups developed DC morphology following in vitro culture with activation agents and synthesized distinct patterns of cytokines in response to different stimuli. Taken together, our results suggest that groups I and II are IFN-α-producing plasmacytoid DC, group III cells are myeloid-related DC, while group IV is a heterogenous population containing both myeloid- and lymphoid-related DC. Our results demonstrate the highly heterogeneous nature of hepatic DC, which is in agreement with the unique requirements for APC in the complex liver environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2323-2330
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Heterogeneity of dendritic cells in the mouse liver: Identification and characterization of four distinct populations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this