The characterization of human DC subsets is essential for the design of new vaccines and for better translation of mouse immunological data to the clinic. Previously, we showed that human epidermal Langerhans cells (LCs) were highly efficient at priming effector CD8+ T cell responses. However, the ability of mouse LCs to cross-present antigens and drive potent CTL responses is controversial. We used expression profiling to find the human LC equivalent in the mouse. Our studies suggest that the mouse equivalent to the human LC are the two mouse thymic DC subsets. Our studies also reveal a distinct genetic signature of over 25 genes, that could identify and predict which DC subsets can cross-present. The cross-presentation signature was present in the human blood CD141+ DCs and correctly identified the ability of other distinct human and mouse DC subsets to cross present. We confirmed these predictions with the functional ability of DCs to efficiently induce antigen-specific effector CD8+ T cells. Our studies may help bridge differences between mouse and human DCs and facilitate the application of these data to the clinic.
- Copyright © 2013 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.