The plastic role of dendritic cells (DCs) in the regulation ofimmune responses has made them interesting targets for immunotherapy, but also for pathogens or tumors to evade immunity. Functional alterations of DCs are often ascribed to manipulation of canonical NF-κB activity. However, though this pathway has been linked to murine myeloid DC biology, a detailed analysis of its importance in human myeloid DC differentiation, survival, maturation, and function is lacking. The myeloid DC subsets include interstitial DCs and Langerhans cells. In this study, we investigated the role of canonical NF-κB in human myeloid DCs generated from monocytes (monocyte-derived DCs [mo-DCs]) or CD34+progenitors (CD34-derived myeloid DCs [CD34-mDCs]). Inhibition of NF-κB activation during and after mo-DC, CD34-interstitial DC, or CD34-Langerhans cell differentiation resulted in apoptosis induction associated with caspase 3 activation and loss of mitochondrial transmembrane potential. Besides regulating survival, canonical NF-κB activity was required for the acquisition of a DC phenotype. Despite phenotypic differences, however, Ag uptake, costimulatory molecule and CCR7 expression, as well as T cell stimulatory capacity of cells generated under NF-κB inhibition were comparable to control DCs, indicating that canonical NF-κB activity during differentiation is redundant for the development of functional APCs. However, both mo-DC and CD34-mDC functionality were reduced by NF-κB inhibition during activation. In conclusion, canonical NF-κB activity is essential for the development and function of mo-DCs as well as CD34-mDCs. Insight into the role of this pathway may help in understanding how pathogens and tumors escape immunity and aid in developing novel treatment strategies aiming to interfere with human immune responses. Copyright

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van de Laar, L., van den Bosch, A., van der Kooij, S.W., Janssen, H.L.A., Coffer, P.J., van Kooten, C., & Woltman, A.M.. (2010). A nonredundant role for canonical NF-κB in human myeloid dendritic cell development and function. Journal of Immunology, 185(12), 7252–7261. doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1000672