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Meeting report : DC2018

Meeting report from Christian Wohn, recipient of a CFCD travel award.

The 15th International Symposium on Dendritic Cells was jointly organized by the dutch and german scientists Prof. Carl Figdor, Prof. Reinhold Förster and Prof. Björn E. Clausen. This years symposium was aptly held in Aachen, a city located in today’s tri-state-area between, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany.

The scientific program of the symposium meeting was centered on the role of dendritic cells in health and disease and to harness their therapeutic potential. Different sessions were covering the topics DC ontogeny & development, transcriptional & epigenetic regulation of DC, antigen processing & presentation, T cell priming & polarization, DC subsets & functional specialization, DC in interaction with commensal microbiota, DC in tolerance & tissue homeostasis, DC in allergy & autoimmunity, DC in chronic infections, DC in cancer & cancer immunotherapy and DC vaccination & immunotherapy beyond cancer. In addition, parallel held workshops were organized around the topics omics approaches to dissect DC heterogeneity & networks, DC development & ontogeny, DC migration, DC vaccinations and beyond, Langerhans Cells and a special workshop on open topics.

The quality of the conference was excellent, with top-level invited keynote speakers and a long list of selected speakers giving outstanding and inspiring talks. Here is my selection and summary of some of the most notable and inspiring presentations of the DC 2018 meeting:

Wolfgang Kastenmüller (Institute of Immunobiology Würzburg,Germany)
presented (as usual) cutting edge intravital microscopy images and movies beautifully illustrating the spatiotemporal communication and signaling events of immune cells in vivo. He focused in his talk amongst others on published data showing that during viral infection CD8+ T cell mediated reorganization of the local DC network allowing for the interaction and cooperation of pDC and XCR1+ DC, optimizing XCR1+ DC maturation and cross-presentation. These data support a model in which CD8+ T cells upon activation create their own optimal priming microenvironment by recruiting additional DC subsets to the site of initial antigen recognition.

José A. Villadangos (University of Melbourne, Autralia)
Shared some unpublished work on so-called ACDC, a cell type that he believes has hybrid cDC1:B cell properties, with a novel function of MHCII (covalent binding of C3dg) and formation of these complexes regulating ACDC and cDC1 homeostasis.

Sebastian Amigorena (Institut curie, Paris, France)
presented some unpublished work on a pathway linking heterochromatin dynamics to inflammation in myeloid cells (Tlr4 activation leading to reduced expression of Suv39h1/Setdb1 and reduced H3K9m3; increased expression of TEs leading to increased cytosolic TE DNA activating STING via cGAS and finally activation of IRF3 and NFkB pathway)

Tsuneyasu Kaisho (Wakayama/JP)
presented some unpublished work on mice carrying a novel mutation in a proteasome subunit, β1i, representing a novel disease model for proteasome associated autoinflammatory syndrome, an autoinflammatory disease

Florent Ginhoux (Singapore/SG; Shanghai/CN)
presented inter alia unpublished work focusing on the committed pre pDC precursor and data of a novel the MS4a3-CRE reporter mouse model. The latter allows fate-mapping of the common monocyte progenitor. In ongoing work he is investigating contribution of monocytes to tissue-resident macrophages and dendritic cells populations and re-assessing the assembly of the CMP-MDP-CDP, pre-DC/cMOP differentiation tree.

Bart Lambrecht (VIB Centre For Inflammation Research Ghent, Belgium)
illustrated in his presentation unpublished work on Galactin10 crystals, causing eosinophilia and hampering mucus clearance in the lung/nose epithelium of asthmatic patients. His research group was developing neutralizing mAbs that could in preliminary in vitro and in vivo experiments perish Gal10 crystals and ameliorate mucus clearance, offering a novel huge potential for clinical application.

Mihai Netea (Nijmegen/Netherlands)
covered in his presentation the topic of trained immunity of the innate immune system acting on myeloid cell progenitors on an epigenomic level

Finally, I would like to thanks the CFCD for providing travel support and thereby giving me the opportunity to attend this renowned international symposium. I believe the attendance at the DC2018 meeting was a great occasion to present and discuss the results of our work with experts of the dendritic cell field.