CX3CR1+ interstitial dendritic cells form a contiguous network throughout the entire kidney.
Soos TJ., Sims TN., Barisoni L., Lin K., Littman DR., Dustin ML., Nelson PJ.
Dendritic cells (DCs) interface innate and adaptive immunity in nonlymphoid organs; however, the exact distribution and types of DC within the kidney are not known. We utilized CX3CR1GFP/+ mice to characterize the anatomy and phenotype of tissue-resident CX3CR1+ DCs within normal kidney. Laser-scanning confocal microscopy revealed an extensive, contiguous network of stellate-shaped CX3CR1+ DCs throughout the interstitial and mesangial spaces of the entire kidney. Intravital microscopy of the superficial cortex showed stationary interstitial CX3CR1+ DCs that continually probe the surrounding tissue environment through dendrite extensions. Flow cytometry of renal CX3CR1+ DCs showed significant coexpression of CD11c and F4/80, high major histocompatibility complex class II and FcR expression, and immature costimulatory but competent phagocytic ability indicative of tissue-resident, immature DCs ready to respond to environment cues. Thus, within the renal parenchyma, there exists little immunological privilege from the surveillance provided by renal CX3CR1+ DCs, a major constituent of the heterogeneous mononuclear phagocyte system populating normal kidney.