B-lymphoid cells with attributes of dendritic cells regulate T cells via indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase

Burles A. Johnson, David J. Kahler, Babak Baban, Phillip R. Chandler, Baolin Kang, Michiko Shimoda, Pandelakis A. Koni, Jeanene Pihkala, Bojan Vilagos, Meinrad Busslinger, David H. Munn, Andrew L. Mellor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


A discrete population of splenocytes with attributes of dendritic cells (DCs) and coexpressing the B-cell marker CD19 is uniquely competent to express the T-cell regulatory enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) in mice treated with TLR9 ligands (CpGs). Here we show that IDO-competent cells express the B-lineage commitment factor Pax5 and surface immunoglobulins. CD19 ablation abrogated IDO-dependent T-cell suppression by DCs, even though cells with phenotypic attributes matching IDO-competent cells developed normally and expressed IDO in response to interferon γ. Consequently, DCs and regulatory T cells (Tregs) did not acquire T-cell regulatory functions after TLR9 ligation, providing an alternative perspective on the known T-cell regulatory defects of CD19-deficient mice. DCs from B-cell-deficient mice expressed IDO and mediated T-cell suppression after TLR9 ligation, indicating that B-cell attributes were not essential for B-lymphoid IDO-competent cells to regulate T cells. Thus, IDO-competent cells constitute a distinctive B-lymphoid cell type with quintessential T-cell regulatory attributes and phenotypic features of both B cells and DCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10644-10648
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 8 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • B cells
  • CD19
  • T-cell regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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