Maturation of dendritic cells (DCs) initiates adaptive immune responses and thereby provokes allograft rejection. Here, this study aimed to explore the effect of Methyltransferase-like protein 3 (METTL3) silencing on DC function and the role of METTL3-silencing donor DCs in the immune response after mouse heart transplantation. Bone marrow-derived DCs from donor BALB/c mice were infected with lentiviruses expressing METTL3-specific short hairpin RNA (LV-METTL3 shRNA) to silence METTL3. Then METTL3-silencing DCs were treated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) for another 48 h to induce DC maturation. Recipient C57BL/6 mice were injected with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), immature DCs, and METTL3 shRNA-DCs prior to the cardiac transplantation involving the transfer of hearts from donor BALB/c mice to recipient C57BL/6 mice. In vitro we demonstrated that METTL3-silencing DCs had lower expression of MHCII, costimulatory molecules (CD80, CD86), and DC-related cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-12) as well as lower ability to activate T-cell proliferation, which were consistent with the characteristics of tolerogenic DCs. In vivo we found that METTL3-silencing donor DCs induced immune tolerance after mouse heart transplantation and prolonged the allograft survival, which might be associated with Th1/Th2 immune deviation. In summary, METTL3-silencing DCs exhibit immature properties and prolong allograft survival.
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Wu, H., Xu, Z., Wang, Z. et al. Dendritic cells with METTL3 gene knockdown exhibit immature properties and prolong allograft survival. Genes Immun 21, 193–202 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41435-020-0099-3
Frontiers in Immunology (2021)