Enhancement of dendritic cell production by fms-like tyrosine kinase-3 ligand increases the resistance of mice to a burn wound infection.


Fms-like tyrosine kinase-3 ligand (Flt3L) is a hemopoietic cytokine that stimulates the production of dendritic cells. This study evaluated the ability of Flt3L-enhanced dendritic cell production to increase the resistance of mice to a burn wound infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a common source of infections in burn patients that have impaired immunity and are susceptible to opportunistic microorganisms. Treatment of mice with Flt3L for 5 days caused a significant increase in dendritic cell numbers in the spleen and significantly increased survival upon a subsequent burn wound infection. Improved survival in Flt3L-treated mice was associated with limited bacterial growth and spread within the burn wounds and a decrease in systemic dissemination of P. aeruginosa. Resistance to burn wound infection could also be conferred to recipient mice by the adoptive transfer of dendritic cells that had been isolated from spleens of Flt3L-treated mice. Adoptive transfer of the same number of splenic dendritic cells from nontreated mice did not confer resistance to burn wound infection. These data indicate that Flt3L can increase the resistance of mice to a P. aeruginosa burn wound infection through both stimulation of dendritic cell production and enhancement of dendritic cell function.