Exp Gerontol 2004 Mar;39(3):339-48
Department of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, 5725 Main Tower Childrens Hospital, 200 Lothrop Street, Pdittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.
This report describes age-related alterations of dendritic cells (DC) distribution in nude athymic mice in vivo and reversal of certain age-dependent defects by an in vivo administration of hematopoietic growth factor FLT3 ligand (FLT3L). There are decreased percentages of CD11c(+) DC in the bone marrow and spleen and a reduced expression of MHC class II and CD86 molecules on DC in old nude mice. The decreased levels of CD11c(+) DC were due to the CD8alpha(-) DC subset. The distribution of CD11c(+) CD8alpha(+) DC in the lymphoid tissues was not different in young and old mice. The effect of in vivo administration of FLT3L on the generation and distribution of DC in the lymphoid tissues in young and old nude mice was also evaluated. Although, FLT3L had a higher inductive potential on the expansion of DC from the bone marrow in the elderly mice, the total level of CD11c(+) DC in the young animals was still significantly higher as compared to the old animals. Interestingly, FLT3L induced a pronounced redistribution and accumulation of MHC class II(+) DC in the lymphoid tissues in old mice, markedly increased the accumulation of CD8alpha(-) DC in the bone marrow in both young and old nude mice, and elevated both CD8alpha(-) and CD8alpha(+) DC in the spleen in young mice. However, only the level of CD8alpha(+) DC was up regulated in the spleen in old athymic mice after FLT3L-based therapy. In summary, abnormalities in DC generation and distribution in old athymic mice could be, in part, circumvented by the in vivo administration of FLT3L.