Single-cell technologies have enabled extensive profiling studies of human and mouse tissues and the identification of an ever-growing number of transcriptional clusters within the dendritic cell (DC) lineage. Here, we discuss the importance of differentiating cell subsets from cell states when annotating DC clusters and propose a revised nomenclature of the DC lineage that integrates experimentally validated knowledge and unbiased transcriptomic profiling results.
Your institute does not have access to this article
Subscribe to Nature+
Get immediate online access to the entire Nature family of 50+ journals
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $4.92 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
Guilliams, M. et al. Dendritic cells, monocytes and macrophages: a unified nomenclature based on ontogeny. Nat. Rev. Immunol. 14, 571–578 (2014).
Zilionis, R. et al. Single-cell transcriptomics of human and mouse lung cancers reveals conserved myeloid populations across individuals and species. Immunity 50, 1317–1334 (2019).
Zhang, Q. et al. Landscape and dynamics of single immune cells in hepatocellular carcinoma. Cell 179, 829–845 (2019).
Dutertre, C. A. et al. Single-cell analysis of human mononuclear phagocytes reveals subset-defining markers and identifies circulating inflammatory dendritic cells. Immunity 51, 573–589 (2019).
Maier, B. et al. A conserved dendritic-cell regulatory program limits antitumour immunity. Nature 580, 257–262 (2020).
Villani, A. C. et al. Single-cell RNA-seq reveals new types of human blood dendritic cells, monocytes and progenitors. Science 356, eaah4573 (2017).
Bourdely, P. et al. Transcriptional and functional analysis of CD1c+ human dendritic cells identifies a CD163+ subset priming CD8+CD103+ T cells. Immunity 53, 335–352 (2020).
Cytlak, U. et al. Differential IRF8 transcription factor requirement defines two pathways of dendritic cell development in humans. Immunity 53, 353–370 (2020).
Ardouin, L. et al. Broad and largely concordant molecular changes characterize tolerogenic and immunogenic dendritic cell maturation in thymus and periphery. Immunity 45, 305–318 (2016).
Miller, J. C. et al. Deciphering the transcriptional network of the dendritic cell lineage. Nat. Immunol. 13, 888–899 (2012).
The authors declare no competing interests.
Peer review information
Nature Reviews Immunology thanks S. Nutt, who co-reviewed with M. Chopin, and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
About this article
Cite this article
Ginhoux, F., Guilliams, M. & Merad, M. Expanding dendritic cell nomenclature in the single-cell era. Nat Rev Immunol 22, 67–68 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41577-022-00675-7