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In mice, CD8a+ myeloid dendritic cells (mDC) optimally cross-present Ags to CD8+ T cells and respond strongly to TLR3 ligands. Although equivalent DC have been identified by comparative genomic analysis and functional studies in humans as XCR1+CD141 (BDCA-3)+Clec9A+cell adhesion molecule 1+ mDC, and in sheep as CD26+ mDC, these cells remained elusive in nonhuman primates.


To remedy this situation, we delineated precisely DC and monocyte populations by 12-color flow cytometry and transcriptomic analyses in healthy rhesus macaques. We identified a new mDC population, with strong phenotypic and transcriptional homology to human CD141+ and murine CD8a+ mDC, including XCR1 membrane expression as a conserved specific marker. In contrast, high CD11c expression was not characteristic of mDC in macaques, but of CD16+ monocytes. Like their human and murine homologs, simian XCR1+ mDC had much stronger responses to TLR3 stimulation than other myeloid cells. The importance

of this new mDC population was tested in SIVmac251 infection, the most relevant animal model for pathogenic HIV-1 infection and vaccination. This population increased sharply and transiently during acute infection, but was reduced in blood and spleen during advanced disease. The identification of XCR1+ mDC in rhesus macaques opens new avenues for future preclinical vaccinal studies and highlights XCR1 as a prime candidate for targeted vaccine delivery.

Dutertre CA1, Jourdain JP, Rancez M, Amraoui S, Fossum E, Bogen B, Sanchez C, Couëdel-Courteille A, Richard Y, Dalod M, Feuillet V, Cheynier R,Hosmalin A.
The Journal of Immunology, 2014, 192: 000–000.