Direct reprogramming of fibroblasts into antigen-presenting dendritic cells

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Science Immunology  07 Dec 2018:
Vol. 3, Issue 30, eaau4292
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aau4292

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“Induced” dendritic cells

In vitro systems that culture immune cells have contributed greatly in shaping our understanding of immune cell functions and in the development of immunotherapies. Taking a leaf from the regenerative medicine handbook, Rosa et al. found that ectopic expression of transcription factors PU.1, IRF8, and BATF3 reprogrammed mouse and human fibroblast cells to “induced” dendritic cells (iDCs). Human and murine iDCs were comparable to conventional type 1 DCs and had the ability to engulf and present antigens; murine iDCs could also cross-present antigens to CD8+ T cells. Their system could be useful in the clinic for generation of patient-specific DCs, and their studies open up the possibility of generating other DC subsets by reprogramming.