Dendritic cells (DCs) are unique antigen presenting cells that are immature prior to their encounter with an antigen. Exposure to allergens induces the maturation of DCs with changes in morphology and presence of dendrites. Here, we demonstrate that the DCs in the lungs of ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized and challenged mice are more mature owing to their pronounced dendrites than the DCs in the lungs and spleen of PBS-treated mice, which are immature and possess cytoplasmic veils. Intermediate to these two groups are the DCs in the Flt3 ligand-treated group that exhibit comparatively fewer dendrites and cytoplasmic veils and hence are classified as semimature. Presence of large numbers of well-developed mitochondria and rough endoplasmic reticulum in myeloid DCs from both lungs and spleen of OVA-sensitized and challenged mice indicate greater functional activity. Additionally, DCs from the OVA-sensitized and challenged mice also exhibit fat and glycogen stores, which are indicative of a mature population. In addition, treatment of the animals with Flt3 ligand attenuated airway hyperresponsiveness to methacholine in OVA-sensitized and challenged mice. These data suggest that morphological features could be indicative of the maturation and distinct functional state of DCs, and this could be associated with underlying mechanisms of Flt3 ligand-induced immunomodulation in allergic asthma.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Molecular Biology
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine