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J Dermatol Sci. 1999 Jul;20(3):159-71.

Apoptosis in dendritic cell biology.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas 75325-9069, USA.


Apoptosis or programmed cell death regulates many aspects in immunological homeostasis and, thus, controls the initiation, magnitude, duration, and termination of immune responses. Recent studies on dendritic cells (DC), including Langerhans cells (LC), have reinforced this concept by documenting that these antigen presenting cells express surface receptors and ligands that are known to mediate apoptotic cell death and that they are highly susceptible to apoptotic signals. In this review article, four major topics concerning apoptosis in the biology of DC will be overviewed: (a) molecular mechanisms of apoptosis; (b) DC apoptosis induced by various stimuli; (c) regulation of DC apoptosis; and (d) cross-priming and cross-tolerance induced by DC ingesting apoptotic bodies.

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