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Immunol Cell Biol. 1999 Oct;77(5):428-33.

Regulation of T helper cell differentiation by respiratory tract dendritic cells.

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TVW Telethon Institute for Child Health Research (affiliated with the University of Western Australia), West Perth, Western Australia, Australia.


Studies on dendritic cells (DC) of the respiratory and gastric mucosae have identified an extensive network of cells that represent the predominant antigen-presenting cell type at these sites. Under steady-state conditions, respiratory tract DC (RTDC) are specialized for antigen uptake and spontaneously migrate to local lymph nodes, although in vivo transfer studies have shown that the T-cell priming activity of these cells is restricted to low-level, Th2-skewed responses. Following exposure to inflammatory stimuli, the migration of RTDC to lymph nodes is accelerated and is associated with a rapid and dramatic increase in the ability of these cells to induce both Th1- and Th2-dependent immunity. Under normal circumstances, however, responsiveness of epithelial RTDC to maturation stimuli is regulated by locally produced micro-environmental factors, including pro-inflammatory cytokines, reactive oxygen species and prostanoids. These studies have led to a greater understanding of airway DC function and their role in T helper cell differentiation and provide the basis for future studies to determine the role of the cells in the aetiology and pathogenesis of respiratory immunoinflammatory disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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