Lack of retinoic acid leads to increased langerin-expressing dendritic cells in gut-associated lymphoid tissues

Sun-Young Chang, Hye-Ran Cha, Jae-Hoon Chang, Hyun-Jeong Ko, Hyungjun Yang, Bernard Malissen, Makoto Iwata, Mi-Na Kweon
Gastroenterology 2010, 138 (4): 1468-78, 1478.e1-6

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Retinoic acid (RA) is a crucial factor for maintaining homeostasis in the gut, including lymphocyte homing, immunoglobulin (Ig) A production, and T regulatory cells (Treg) and T helper cell 17 (T(H)17) generation. Until now, most attention has focused on the function of dendritic cells (DCs) to initiate adaptive immunity including T and B lymphocytes through RA. To investigate the effects of RA on DCs of gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT), we analyzed the phenotype and function of DC subsets from GALT of vitamin A-deficient (VAD) mice.

METHOD: VAD mice were prepared by feeding them a VAD diet over 12 weeks from gestational days 10-14.

RESULTS: Here, we report that tremendous increase of langerin(+) DCs occurred in the mesenteric lymph nodes (MLNs) and gut lamina propria of VAD mice dependent on CCR7 signaling. Langerin(+) DCs have phenotypes more similar to those of bone marrow-derived dermal langerin(+) DCs than epidermal Langerhans cells. Moreover, RA receptor antagonists enhance the differentiation of langerin(+) DCs from mouse and human precursors of bone marrow and peripheral blood. Langerin(+) DCs were highly differentiated but less inflammatory than langerin(-) DCs of MLNs of VAD mice. Moreover, tolerance to orally delivered antigen was completely abrogated by depletion of langerin(+) DCs in the VAD mice.

CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that generation of langerin(+) DCs in the GALT is tightly regulated by RA and that the microenvironment of tissues determines the phenotype of DCs.

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