Development of endocytosis, degradative activity, and antigen processing capacity during GM-CSF driven differentiation of murine bone marrow
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Dendritic cells (DC) are sentinels of the immune system, alerting and enlisting T cells to clear pathogenic threats. As such, numerous studies have demonstrated their effective uptake and proteolytic activities coupled with antigen processing and presentation functions. Yet, less is known about how these cellular mechanisms change and develop as myeloid cells progress from progenitor cells to more differentiated cell types such as DC. Thus, our study comparatively examined these functions at different stages of myeloid cell development driven by the GM-CSF. To measure these activities at different stages of development, GM-CSF driven bone marrow cells were sorted based on expression of Ly6C, CD115, and CD11c. This strategy enables isolation of cells representing five distinct myeloid cell types: Common Myeloid Progenitor (CMP), Granulocyte/Macrophage Progenitor (GMP), monocytes, monocyte-derived Macrophage/monocyte-derived Dendritic cell Precursors (moMac/moDP), and monocyte-derived DC (moDC). We observed significant differences in the uptake capacity, proteolysis, and antigen processing and presentation functions between these myeloid cell populations. CMP showed minimal uptake capacity with no detectable antigen processing and presenting function. The GMP population showed higher uptake capacity, modest proteolytic activity, and little T cell stimulatory function. In the monocyte population, the uptake capacity reached its peak, yet this cell type had minimal antigen processing and presentation function. Finally, moMac/moDP and moDC had a modestly decreased uptake capacity, high degradative capacity and strong antigen processing and presentation functions. These insights into when antigen processing and presentation function develop in myeloid cells during GM-CSF driven differentiation are crucial to the development of vaccines, allowing targeting of the most qualified cells as an ideal vaccine vehicles.