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Dendritic cells and the control of immunity

Abstract

B and T lymphocytes are the mediators of immunity, but their function is under the control of dendritic cells. Dendritic cells in the periphery capture and process antigens, express lymphocyte co-stimulatory molecules, migrate to lymphoid organs and secrete cytokines to initiate immune responses. They not only activate lymphocytes, they also tolerize T cells to antigens that are innate to the body (self-antigens), thereby minimizing autoimmune reactions. Once a neglected cell type, dendritic cells can now be readily obtained in sufficient quantities to allow molecular and cell biological analysis. With knowledge comes the realization that these cells are a powerful tool for manipulating the immune system.

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Figure 1: Afferent and efferent limbs of immunity that resolve several demands of antigen presentation in vivo (see text).
Figure 2: Some features of DCs, including DCs expanded ex vivo from precursors.
Figure 3: The unusual shapes of DCs.
Figure 4: Features that change during DC maturation.
Figure 5: Intracellular MHC II-bearing compartments in immature, maturing and mature DCs.
Figure 6: Distinct subsets of DCs in lymphoid organs, possibly derived from separate pathways of development (see text).

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Acknowledgements

We dedicate this review to the memory of J. Chiller. J.B. acknowledges the members of the Schering Plough Laboratory for Immunological Research, Dardilly, and particularly F. Brière, C. Caux, S. Lebecque, Y.-J. Liu, M. Vatan, A.Waitz, and R.S. acknowledges the long-standing contributions of N.Bhardwaj, A. Granelli-Piperno, K. Inaba, I. Mellman, C. Moberg, M. Nussenzweig, M. Pack, M. Pope, N. Romani, G. Schuler, J.Young and the support of the NIAID. Because of space limitations, the reference list has been restricted to a select sample from the past five years. A more complete list is available from the authors. We thank our many colleagues for their critical comments on this review.

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Banchereau, J., Steinman, R. Dendritic cells and the control of immunity. Nature 392, 245–252 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1038/32588

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