Despite the crucial function of dendritic cells (DC) in immunity, the molecular mechanisms regulating human DC development remain poorly defined. STAT5 regulates various hematopoietic lineages and is activated by GM-CSF, a critical cytokine in DC development. In this study, we investigated the role of STAT5 during differentiation of human CD34+hematopoietic progenitors into precursor DC (pre-DC) and their subsequent differentiation toward interstitial DC and Langerhans cells. Inhibiting STAT5 activity by dominant-negative STAT5 promoted Langerhans cell commitment of hematopoietic progenitors but resulted in loss of pre-interstitial DC development, showing subset-specific regulation. Increasing the low endogenous STAT5 activity by ectopic STAT5 activation downregulated expression of the critical DC transcription factor PU.1 and abrogated commitment to either DC lineage. In contrast, high STAT5 activity was beneficial in already committed pre-DC: terminal DC differentiation was associated with increased endogenous STAT5 phosphorylation levels, JAK2-STAT5 inhibition reduced terminal DC differentiation, and conditional STAT5 activation in pre-DC improved development of BDCA-1+, DC-SIGN+, and Langerin+DC with normal maturation and T cell stimulation. These data show that STAT5 critically regulates human DC development, with specific requirements for the level of STAT5 activation at distinct differentiation stages. By regulating STAT5 activity, cytokines present at specific locations and under different pathophysiological conditions can determine the fate of DC precursors. Copyright

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Journal Journal of Immunology
van de Laar, L, van den Bosch, A, Wierenga, A.T.J, Janssen, H.L.A, Coffer, P.J, & Woltman, A.M. (2011). Tight control of STAT5 activity determines human CD34-derived interstitial dendritic cell and langerhans cell development. Journal of Immunology, 186(12), 7016–7024. doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1003977