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Dendritic cells (DC) accumulate in the CNS during inflammation and may contribute to local immune responses. Two DC subsets present in human cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) are probably recruited from myeloid (CD11c(+)CD123(dim)) and plasmacytoid (CD11c(-)CD123(high)) blood DC. In bacterial meningitis and especially in
Lyme meningoencephalitis, numbers of myeloid and plasmacytoid DC in CSF were increased, compared to non-inflammatory neurological diseases, and correlated with chemotactic activity of CSF for immature monocyte-derived DC (moDC). Multiple DC chemoattractants, including macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1beta, monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-1, MCP-3, RANTES and stromal cell-derived factor (SDF)-1alpha were elevated in CSF in these two neuroinfections. Chemotaxis of immature moDC induced by these CSFs could be partially inhibited by mAbs against CXCR4, the receptor for SDF-1alpha, and CD88, the receptor for C5a. SDF-1alpha present in CSF also chemoattracted mature moDC, which in vivo could correspond to a diminished migration of antigen-bearing DC from the CSF to secondary lymphoid organs. Regulation of DC trafficking to and from the CSF may represent a mechanism of controlling the CNS inflammation.