The existence of conventional dendritic cells (cDCs) has not yet been demonstrated outside mammals. In this article, we identified bona fide cDCs in chicken spleen. Comparative profiling of global and of immune response gene expression, morphology, and T cell activation properties show that cDCs and macrophages (MPs) exist as distinct mononuclear phagocytes in the chicken, resembling their human and mouse cell counterparts. With computational analysis, core gene expression signatures for cDCs, MPs, and T and B cells across the chicken, human, and mouse were established, which will facilitate the identification of these subsets in other vertebrates. Overall, this study, by extending the newly uncovered cDC and MP paradigm to the chicken, suggests that these two phagocyte lineages were already in place in the common ancestor of reptiles (including birds) and mammals in evolution. It opens avenues for the design of new vaccines and nutraceuticals that are mandatory for the sustained supply of poultry products in the expanding human population.
↵2 M.D., I.S.-C., and P.Q. are senior authors.
This work was supported by institutional funding from the Agence Nationale de la Recherche PhyloGenDC, ANR-09-BLAN-0073-02; the PhyloGenDC ANR grant and the European Research Council (T.-P.V.M.); and European Research Council Frame Program 2007-2013 Grant Agreement 281225 for the SystemsDendritic project (M.D.).
The microarray data presented in this article have been submitted to the Gene Expression Omnibus (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/geo/info/) under accession number GSE55642.
The online version of this article contains supplemental material.
- Received December 23, 2013.
- Accepted March 14, 2014.
- Copyright © 2014 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.