Generation of mucosal dendritic cells from bone marrow reveals a critical role of retinoic acid

Academic Article


  • It is unknown how dendritic cells (DCs) become specialized as mucosal DCs and maintain intestinal homeostasis. We report that a subset of bone marrow cells freshly isolated from C57BL/6 mice express the retinoic acid (RA)-synthesizing enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase family 1, subfamily A2 (ALDH1a2) and are capable of providing RA to DC precursors in the bone marrow microenvironment. RA induced bone marrow-derived DCs to express CCR9 and ALDH1a2 and conferred upon them mucosal DC functions, including induction of Foxp3 + regulatory T cells, IgA-secreting B cells, and gut-homing molecules. This response of DCs to RA was dependent on a narrow time window and stringent dose effect. RA promoted bone marrow-derived DC production of bioactive TGF-β by inhibiting suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 expression and thereby enhancing STAT3 activation. These RA effects were evident in vivo, in that mucosal DCs from vitamin A-deficient mice had reduced mucosal DC function, namely failure to induce Foxp3+ regulatory T cells. Furthermore, MyD88 signaling enhanced RA-educated DC ALDH1a2 expression and was required for optimal TGF-β production. These data indicate that RA plays a critical role in the generation of mucosal DCs from bone marrow and in their functional activity. Copyright © 2010 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Feng T; Cong Y; Qin H; Benveniste EN; Elson CO
  • Start Page

  • 5915
  • End Page

  • 5925
  • Volume

  • 185
  • Issue

  • 10