J Immunol Jan 01, 2005Author(s):
Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) are versatile cells of the immune response, secreting type I IFNs and differentiating into potent immunogenic or tolerogenic APCs. pDCs can express adhesion and chemokine receptors for lymphoid tissues, but are also recruited by unknown mechanisms during tissue inflammation. We use a novel mAb specific for serpentine chemokine-like receptor 1 (CMKLR1) to evaluate its expression by circulating leukocytes in humans. We show that CMKLR1 is expressed by circulating pDCs in human blood, whereas myeloid DCs (mDCs) as well as lymphocytes, monocytes, neutrophils, and eosinophils are negative. We identify a major serum agonist activity for CMKLR1 as chemerin, a proteolytically activated attractant and the sole known ligand for CMKLR1, and we show that chemerin is activated during blood coagulation and attracts pDC but not mDC in ex vivo chemotaxis assays. We conclude that CMKLR1 expression and chemerin-mediated chemotaxis distinguish circulating pDCs from mDCs, providing a potential mechanism for their differential contribution to or regulation of immune responses at sites of bleeding or inflammatory protease activity.