Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) produce large amounts of type-I interferon (IFN) in response to viral infection or self nucleic acids. Leukocyte mono-immunoglobulin-like receptor 8 (LMIR8), also called CMRF-35-like molecule-6 (CLM-6), is a putative activating receptor among mouse LMIR/CLM/CD300 members; however, the expression and function of LMIR8 remain unclear. Here, we characterize mouse LMIR8 as a pDC receptor. Analysis of Flag-tagged LMIR8-transduced bone marrow (BM)-derived mast cells demonstrated that LMIR8 can transmit an activating signal by interacting with immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activating motif (ITAM)-containing FcRγ. Flow cytometric analysis using a specific antibody for LMIR8 showed that LMIR8 expression was restricted to mouse pDCs residing in BM, spleen, or lymph node. FcRγ deficiency dampened surface expression of LMIR8 in mouse pDCs. Notably, LMIR8 was detected only in pDCs, irrespective of TLR9 stimulation, suggesting that LMIR8 is a suitable marker for pDCs in mouse tissues; LMIR8 is weakly expressed in Flt3 ligand-induced BM-derived pDCs (BMpDCs). Crosslinking of transduced LMIR8 in BMpDCs with anti-LMIR8 antibody did not induce IFN-α production, but rather suppressed TLR9-mediated production of IFN-α. Taken together, these observations indicate that LMIR8 is an FcRγ-coupled receptor selectively expressed in mouse tissue pDCs, which might suppress pDC activation through the recognition of its ligands.
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