The early progenitors of mouse dendritic cells and plasmacytoid predendritic cells are within the bone marrow hemopoietic precursors expressing Flt3
D'Amico, A; Wu, L
JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL MEDICINE
Flt3 ligand (Flt3L) is a growth factor for hemopoietic progenitors and can promote the expansion of both conventional dendritic cells (DCs) and plasmacytoid predendritic cells (p-preDCs). The cells responding to Flt3L treatment and the precursors for the DCs and p-preDCs had not been fully characterized. We examined different mouse bone marrow (BM) hemopoietic precursor populations for the surface expression of Flt3 and tested them for early DC and p-preDC precursor activity. Most DC precursor activity, other than that given by multipotent hemopoietic stem cells, was within the downstream precursors expressing Flt3. The majority of mouse BM common lymphoid precursors expressed high levels of Flt3 and these were the most efficient precursors of both DCs and p-preDCs. In contrast, only a small proportion of the common myeloid precursors (CMPs) expressed Flt3, but the precursor activity for both DCs and p-preDCs was within this minor Flt3(+) CMP fraction. The granulocyte and macrophage precursors and pro-B cells did not express Flt3 and had no DC or p-preDC precursor activity. These findings demonstrate that the early precursors for all DC subtypes are within the BM Flt3+ precursor populations, regardless of their lymphoid or myeloid lineage orientation.