Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

GM-CSF and TNF-α cooperate in the generation of dendritic Langerhans cells


DENDRITIC cells comprise a system of highly efficient antigen-presenting cells which initiate immune responses such as the sensitization of T cells restricted by major histocompatibility complex molecules, the rejection of organ transplants and the formation of T-cell-dependent antibodies. Dendritic cells are found in many non-lymphoid tissues, such as skin (Langerhans cells) and mucosa, and they migrate after antigen capture through the afferent lymph or the bloodstream to lymphoid organs, where they efficiently present antigen to T cells1. Dendritic cells are difficult to isolate and, although they originate from bone marrow2,3 their site of maturation and the conditions that direct their growth and differentiation are still poorly characterized. Granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) favours the outgrowth of dendritic cells from mouse peripheral blood4. Here we extend this finding to man and demonstrate that cooperation between GM-CSF and tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) is crucial for the generation of human dendritic/Langerhans cells from CD34+ haematopoietic progenitors. The availability of large numbers of these cells should now facilitate the understanding of their role in immunological regulation and disorder.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Prices vary by article type



Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout


  1. Steinman, R. M. A. Rev. Immun. 9, 271–296 (1991).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Steinman, R. M., Lustig, D. S. & Cohn, Z. A. J. exp. Med. 139, 1431–1445 (1974).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Katz, S. I., Tamaki, K. & Sachs, D. H. Nature 282, 324–326 (1979).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Inaba, K. et al. J. exp. Med. 175, 1157–1167 (1992).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Caux, C. et al. Blood 75, 2292–2298 (1990).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Caux, C. et al. Blood 78, 635–644 (1991).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. van de Rijn, M. et al. Hum. Immun. 9, 201–210 (1984).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Van Voorhis, W. C. et al. J. exp. Med. 158, 171–191 (1983).

    Google Scholar 

  9. Crow, M. K. & Kunkel, H. G. Clin. exp. Immun. 49, 338–346 (1982).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Witmer-Pack, M. D., Olivier, W., Valinsky, J., Schuler, G. & Steinman, R. M. J. exp. Med. 166, 1484–1498 (1987).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Heufler, C., Koch, F. & Schuler, G. J. exp. Med. 167, 700–705 (1987).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Koch, F. et al. J. exp. Med. 171, 159–172 (1990).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Gabbianelli, M. et al. Science 249, 1561–1564 (1990).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Djeu, J. Y. in Tumour Necrosis Factors: The Molecules and Their Emerging Role in Medicine (ed. Beutler, B.) 531–537 (Raven, New York, 1992).

    Google Scholar 

  15. Metcalf, D. Science 254, 529–533 (1991).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Luger, T. A. Acta derm. venereol. 69, 61–76 (1989).

    Google Scholar 

  17. Malik, S. T. A. in Tumor Necrosis Factors: The Molecules and Their Emerging Role in Medicine (ed. Beutler, B.) 407–423 (Raven, New York, 1992).

    Google Scholar 

  18. Ghiara, P., Borascki, D., Neucroni, L., Ghezzi, P. & Toglabue, A. J. Immun. 139, 1753–1758 (1987).

    Google Scholar 

  19. Van Voorhis, W. C., Hair, L. S., Steinman, R. M. & Kaplan, G. J. exp. Med. 155, 1172–1187 (1982).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. Freudenthal, P. S. & Steinman, R. M. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 87, 7698–7702 (1990).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. Romani, N. et al. J. invest. Dermatol. 93, 600–609 (1989).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  22. Knight, S. C., Macatonia, S. E., Bedford, P. A. & Patterson, S. in Accessory Cells in HIV and Other Retroviral Infections (eds Racz, P., Dijkstra, C. D. & Gluckman, J. C.) 145–154 (Karger, Basel, 1991).

    Google Scholar 

  23. Langhoff, E. et al. Proc. natn. Acad. SCi. U.S.A. 88, 7998–8002 (1991).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  24. Tschachler, E. et al. J. invest. Dermatol. 88, 233–237 (1987).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  25. Cameron, P. U. et al. Science 257, 383–387 (1992).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  26. Sornasse, T. et al. J. exp. Med. 175, 15–21 (1992).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  27. Dezutter-Dambuyant, C. et al Hybridoma 8, 199–208 (1989).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  28. Dezutter-Dambuyant, C., Schmiktt, D., Faure, M., Horisberger, M. & Thivolet, J. J. invest. Derm. 84, 465–468 (1985).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  29. Hart, D. N. J. & McKenzie, J. L. J. exp. Med. 168, 157–160 (1988).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Caux, C., Dezutter-Dambuyant, C., Schmitt, D. et al. GM-CSF and TNF-α cooperate in the generation of dendritic Langerhans cells. Nature 360, 258–261 (1992).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing