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Annu Rev Immunol. 2005;23:275-306.

IPC: professional type 1 interferon-producing cells and plasmacytoid dendritic cell precursors.

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  • 1Department of Immunology and Center for Cancer Immunology Research, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA. yjliu@mdanderson.org

Abstract

Type 1 interferon-(alpha, beta, omega)-producing cells (IPCs), also known as plasmacytoid dendritic cell precursors (pDCs), represent 0.2%-0.8% of peripheral blood mononuclear cells in both humans and mice. IPCs display plasma cell morphology, selectively express Toll-like receptor (TLR)-7 and TLR9, and are specialized in rapidly secreting massive amounts of type 1 interferon following viral stimulation. IPCs can promote the function of natural killer cells, B cells, T cells, and myeloid DCs through type 1 interferons during an antiviral immune response. At a later stage of viral infection, IPCs differentiate into a unique type of mature dendritic cell, which directly regulates the function of T cells and thus links innate and adaptive immune responses. After more than two decades of effort by researchers, IPCs finally claim their place in the hematopoietic chart as the most important cell type in antiviral innate immunity. Understanding IPC biology holds future promise for developing cures for infectious diseases, cancer, and autoimmune diseases.

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