Identification of CD123+ myeloid dendritic cells as an early-stage immature subset with strong tumoristatic potential

Jun Shi, Kazuma Ikeda, Yosinobu Maeda, Katsuji Shinagawa, Aiji Ohtsuka, Hajime Yamamura, Mitsune Tanimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


CD123 has been identified as a specific surface marker for plasmacytoid dendritic cells (PDCs). However, CD123 has recently been shown to be expressed on freshly isolated or in vitro generated myeloid dendritic cells (MDCs). In this article, we investigated whether the expression of CD123 on monocyte-derived MDCs was related to their function, especially to tumor-inhibiting potential. MDCs were induced from cord blood CD14+ monocytes with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) for 7 days, and then CD123+ cells were isolated by positive immunomagnetic cell selection. We observed that CD123+ cells lost monocyte CD14 expression, acquired immature myeloid dendritic cell phenotype and morphology. They exerted more significant endocytosis and less antigen-presenting function than CD123-MDCs which are often referred to as typical MDCs. Meanwhile, CD123+ MDCs exhibited more significant tumor-inhibiting activity toward hematological tumor cell lines of U937 and Jurkat even at a low effector:target ratio. CD123+ MDCs expressed higher level of cytoplasmic TNF-α-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), but no detectable surface TRAIL and very little soluble TRAIL. Pretreatment with recombinant human TRAIL receptor 2:Fc fusion protein significantly reduced the tumor-inhibiting effect of CD123+ MDCs, but not of CD123- MDCs. Overall, our data demonstrated that CD123+ MDCs were an early-stage immature DC subset, with a significant tumor-inhibiting activity partially via involvement of enhanced cytoplasmic TRAIL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-29
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 18 2008


  • CD123
  • Myeloid dendritic cells
  • Tumor-inhibiting activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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