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Brain Pathol. 2003 Jan;13(1):23-33.

Inflammation in the central nervous system: the role for dendritic cells.

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Neuroimmunology Unit, Division of Neurology, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are a subclass of antigen-presenting cells critical in the initiation and regulation of adaptive immunity against pathogens and tumors, as well as in the triggering of autoimmunity. Recent studies have provided important knowledge regarding distribution of DCs in the central nervous system (CNS) and their role in intrathecal immune responses. DCs are present in normal meninges, choroid plexus, and cerebrospinal fluid, but absent from the normal brain parenchyma. Inflammation is accompanied by recruitment and/or development of DCs in the affected brain tissue. DCs present in different compartments of the CNS are likely to play a role in the defence against CNS infections, and also may contribute to relapses/chronicity of CNS inflammation and to break-down of tolerance to CNS autoantigens. CNS DCs can therefore be viewed as a future therapeutic target in chronic inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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