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Semin Immunol. 2004 Apr;16(2):99-106.

Role of dendritic cells in the generation of regulatory T cells.

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INSERM U576, Hopital de l'Archet, Route de St Antoine de Ginestiere, Nice 06200, France.


The induction of antigen-specific T-cell tolerance in the thymus and its maintenance in the periphery is crucial for the prevention of autoimmunity. It was recently proposed that cells of the dendritic family not only control immunity but also maintain tolerance to self-antigens, two complementary functions that would ensure the integrity of the organism in an environment full of pathogens. The tolerogenic function of dendritic cells has been shown to be dependent on certain maturation stages and subsets of different ontogenies, and can be influenced by immunomodulatory agents. Here we discuss the current knowledge of these tolerogenic dendritic cells and how might the understanding of the function and characterization of tolerance-inducing dendritic cells be relevant to therapeutic applications.

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