CXCL4 Exposure Potentiates TLR-Driven Polarization of Human Monocyte-Derived Dendritic Cells and Increases Stimulation of T Cells

Sandra C Silva-Cardoso, Alsya J Affandi, Lotte Spel, Marta Cossu, Joel A G van Roon, Marianne Boes, Timothy R D J Radstake

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Chemokines have been shown to play immune-modulatory functions unrelated to steering cell migration. CXCL4 is a chemokine abundantly produced by activated platelets and immune cells. Increased levels of circulating CXCL4 are associated with immune-mediated conditions, including systemic sclerosis. Considering the central role of dendritic cells (DCs) in immune activation, in this article we addressed the effect of CXCL4 on the phenotype and function of monocyte-derived DCs (moDCs). To this end, we compared innate and adaptive immune responses of moDCs with those that were differentiated in the presence of CXCL4. Already prior to TLR- or Ag-specific stimulation, CXCL4-moDCs displayed a more matured phenotype. We found that CXCL4 exposure can sensitize moDCs for TLR-ligand responsiveness, as illustrated by a dramatic upregulation of CD83, CD86, and MHC class I in response to TLR3 and TLR7/8-agonists. Also, we observed a markedly increased secretion of IL-12 and TNF-α by CXCL4-moDCs exclusively upon stimulation with polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid, R848, and CL075 ligands. Next, we analyzed the effect of CXCL4 in modulating DC-mediated T cell activation. CXCL4-moDCs strongly potentiated proliferation of autologous CD4+ T cells and CD8+ T cells and production of IFN-γ and IL-4, in an Ag-independent manner. Although the internalization of Ag was comparable to that of moDCs, Ag processing by CXCL4-moDCs was impaired. Yet, these cells were more potent at stimulating Ag-specific CD8+ T cell responses. Together our data support that increased levels of circulating CXCL4 may contribute to immune dysregulation through the modulation of DC differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-262
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Antigens, CD/genetics
  • B7-2 Antigen/genetics
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/drug effects
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Dendritic Cells/drug effects
  • Escherichia coli Infections/immunology
  • Escherichia coli/physiology
  • Genes, MHC Class I
  • Humans
  • Imidazoles/pharmacology
  • Immunoglobulins/genetics
  • Interleukin-12/genetics
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Membrane Glycoproteins/genetics
  • Phenotype
  • Platelet Factor 4/immunology
  • Poly I-C/pharmacology
  • Quinolines/pharmacology
  • Thiazoles/pharmacology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/immunology

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