Background: Conventional type 1 dendritic cells (cDC1s) control anti-viral and anti-tumor immunity by inducing antigen-specific cytotoxic CD8+ T-cell responses. Controversy exists whether cDC1s also control CD4+ T helper 2 (Th2) cell responses, since suppressive and activating roles have been reported. DC activation status, controlled by the transcription factor NF-κB, might determine the precise outcome of Th-cell differentiation upon encounter with cDC1s. To investigate the role of activated cDC1s in Th2-driven immune responses, pulmonary cDC1s were activated by targeted deletion of A20/Tnfaip3, a negative regulator of NF-κB signaling. Methods: To target pulmonary cDC1s, Cd207 (Langerin)-mediated excision of A20/Tnfaip3 was used, generating Tnfaip3fl/flxCd207+/cre (Tnfaip3Lg-KO) mice. Mice were exposed to house dust mite (HDM) to provoke Th2-mediated immune responses. Results: Mice harboring Tnfaip3-deficient cDC1s did not develop Th2-driven eosinophilic airway inflammation upon HDM exposure, but rather showed elevated numbers of IFNγ-expressing CD8+ T cells. In addition, Tnfaip3Lg-KO mice harbored increased numbers of IL-12–expressing cDC1s and elevated PD-L1 expression in all pulmonary DC subsets. Blocking either IL-12 or IFNγ in Tnfaip3Lg-KO mice restored Th2 responses, whereas administration of recombinant IFNγ during HDM sensitization in C57Bl/6 mice blocked Th2 development. Conclusions: These findings indicate that the activation status of cDC1s, shown by their specific expression of co-inhibitory molecules and cytokines, critically contributes to the development of Th2 cell–mediated disorders, most likely by influencing IFNγ production in CD8+ T cells.

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Department of Pulmonology

Vroman, H, van Uden, D, Bergen, I.M, van Hulst, J.A.C, Lukkes, M, van Loo, G, … Kool, M. (2020). Tnfaip3 expression in pulmonary conventional type 1 Langerin-expressing dendritic cells regulates T helper 2-mediated airway inflammation in mice. Allergy. doi:10.1111/all.14334