Erythropoiesis is an important response to certain types of stress, including hypoxia, hemorrhage, bone marrow suppression, and anemia, that result in inadequate tissue oxygenation. This stress-induced erythropoiesis is distinct from basal red blood cell generation; however, neither the cellular nor the molecular factors that regulate this process are fully understood. Here, we report that type 1 conventional dendritic cells (cDC1s), which are defined by expression of CD8α in the mouse and XCR1 and CLEC9 in humans, are critical for induction of erythropoiesis in response to stress. Specifically, using murine models, we determined that engagement of a stress sensor, CD24, on cDC1s upregulates expression of the Kit ligand stem cell factor on these cells. The increased expression of stem cell factor resulted in Kit-mediated proliferative expansion of early erythroid progenitors and, ultimately, transient reticulocytosis in the circulation. Moreover, this stress response was triggered in part by alarmin recognition and was blunted in CD24 sensor– and CD8α+ DC-deficient animals. The contribution of the cDC1 subset to the initiation of stress erythropoiesis was distinct from the well-recognized role of macrophages in supporting late erythroid maturation. Together, these findings offer insight into the mechanism of stress erythropoiesis and into disorders of erythrocyte generation associated with stress.
Taeg S. Kim, Mark Hanak, Paul C. Trampont, Thomas J. Braciale