Rationale: Emerging evidence supports a crucial role for tertiary lymphoid organs (TLOs) in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) progression. However, mechanisms of immune cell activation leading to TLOs in COPD remain to be defined. Objectives: To examine the role of lung dendritic cells (DCs) in T follicular helper (Tfh)-cell induction, a T-cell subset critically implicated in lymphoid organ formation, in COPD. Methods: Myeloid cell heterogeneity and phenotype were studied in an unbiased manner via single-cell RNA sequencing on HLA-DR1 cells sorted from human lungs. We measured the in vitro capability of control and COPD lung DC subsets, sorted using a fluorescenceactivated cell sorter, to polarize IL-211CXCL131 (IL-21–positive and C-X-C chemokine ligand type 13–positive) Tfh-like cells. In situ imaging analysis was performed on Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease stage IV COPD lungs with TLOs. Measurements and Main Results: Single-cell RNA-sequencing analysis revealed a high degree of heterogeneity among human lung myeloid cells. Among these, conventional dendritic type 2 cells (cDC2s) showed increased induction of IL211CXCL131 Tfh-like cells. Importantly, the capacity to induce IL-211 Tfh-like cells was higher in cDC2s from patients with COPD than in those from control patients. Increased Tfh-cell induction by COPD cDC2s correlated with increased presence of Tfh-like cells in COPD lungs as compared with those in control lungs, and cDC2s colocalized with Tfh-like cells in TLOs of COPD lungs. Mechanistically, cDC2s exhibited a unique migratory signature and (transcriptional) expression of several pathways and genes related to DC-induced Tfh-cell priming. Importantly, blocking the costimulatory OX40L (OX40 ligand)–OX40 axis reduced Tfh-cell induction by control lung cDC2s. Conclusions: In COPD lungs, we found lung EBI21 (Epstein-Barr virus–induced gene 2–positive) OX-40L–expressing cDC2s that induced IL-211 Tfh-like cells, suggesting an involvement of these cells in TLO formation.

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doi.org/10.1164/rccm.201906-1123OC, hdl.handle.net/1765/130551
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Department of Pulmonology

Naessens, T, Morias, Y., Hamrud, E., Gehrmann, U., Budida, R., Mattsson, J., … Lambrecht, B. (2020). Human Lung Conventional Dendritic Cells Orchestrate Lymphoid Neogenesis during Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 202(4), 535–548. doi:10.1164/rccm.201906-1123OC