The C type lectin receptor CLEC9A mediates antigen uptake and (cross-)presentation by human blood BDCA3+ myeloid dendritic cells

Gerty Schreibelt, Lieke J J Klinkenberg, Luis J Cruz, Paul J Tacken, Jurjen Tel, Martin Kreutz, Gosse J Adema, Gordon D Brown, Carl G Figdor, I Jolanda M de Vries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Citations (Scopus)


CLEC9A is a recently discovered C-type lectin receptor involved in sensing necrotic cells. In humans, this receptor is selectively expressed by BDCA3+ myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs), which have been proposed to be the main human cross-presenting mDCs and may represent the human homologue of murine CD8+ DCs. In mice, it was demonstrated that antigens delivered with antibodies to CLEC9A are presented by CD8+ DCs to both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and induce anti-tumor immunity in a melanoma model. Here we assessed the ability of CLEC9A to mediate antigen presentation by human BDCA3+ mDCs, which represent less than 0.05% of peripheral blood leukocytes. We demonstrate that CLEC9A is only expressed on immature BDCA3+ mDCs and that cell surface expression is lost after Toll-like receptor-mediated maturation. CLEC9A triggering via antibody binding rapidly induces receptor internalization but does not affect TLR-induced cytokine production or expression of costimulatory molecules. More importantly, antigens delivered via CLEC9A antibodies to BDCA3+ mDCs are presented by both MHC class I (cross-presentation) and MHC class II to antigen-specific T cells. We conclude that CLEC9A is a promising target for in vivo antigen delivery in humans to increase the efficiency of vaccines against infectious or malignant diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2284-2292
Number of pages9
Issue number10
Early online date10 Jan 2012
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


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