Expression of XCR1 characterizes the Batf3-dependent lineage of dendritic cells capable of antigen cross-presentation

Annabell Bachem, Evelyn Hartung, Steffen Güttler, Ahmed Mora, Xuefei Zhou, Anika Hegemann, Maud Plantinga, Elisa Mazzini, Patrizia Stoitzner, Stephanie Gurka, Volker Henn, Hans W. Mages, Richard A. Kroczek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cross-presentation of antigen by dendritic cells (DCs) to CD8+ T cells is a fundamentally important mechanism in the defense against pathogens and tumors. Due to the lack of an appropriate lineage marker, cross-presenting DCs in the mouse are provisionally classified as "Batf3-IRF-8-Id2-dependent DCs" or as "CD8+ DCs" in the spleen, and as "CD103+CD11b- DCs" in the periphery. We have now generated a mAb to XCR1, a chemokine receptor which is specifically expressed on CD8+ DCs and a subpopulation of double negative DCs in the spleen. Using this antibody, we have determined that only XCR1+CD8+ (around 80% of CD8+ DCs) and their probable precursors, XCR1CCD8- DCs, efficiently take up cellular material and excel in antigen cross-presentation. In lymph nodes (LNs) and peripheral tissues, XCR1+ DCs largely, but not fully, correspond to CD103+CD11b- DCs. Most importantly, we demonstrate that XCR1+ DCs in the spleen, LNs, and peripheral tissues are dependent on the growth factor Flt3 ligand and are selectively absent in Batf3-deficient animals. These results provide evidence that expression of XCR1 throughout the body defines the Batf3-dependent lineage of DCs with a special capacity to cross-present antigen. XCR1 thus emerges as the first surface marker characterizing a DC lineage in the mouse and potentially also in the human.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberArticle 214
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Issue numberJUL
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Batf3
  • Cross-presentation
  • Dendritic cells
  • Lineage marker
  • XCR1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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