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Immunity. 2008 Sep 19;29(3):343-51. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2008.08.008.

In vivo induction of immune responses to pathogens by conventional dendritic cells.

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Departamento de Inmunología y Oncología, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología, CSIC, Campus Universidad Autónoma, Madrid 28049, Spain.


Specific defense mechanisms against pathogens are fulfilled by different subsets of nonmucosal conventional dendritic cells (DCs), including migratory Langerhans cells (LCs), dermal DCs, and resident CD8(+) and CD8(-) DCs found in lymphoid organs. Dermal DCs capture antigens in the skin and migrate to lymph nodes, where they can transfer the antigens to CD8(+) DCs and activate CD4(+) T cells. Differential antigen-processing machinery grants CD8(+) DCs a high efficiency in activating CD8(+) T cells through crosspresentation, whereas CD8(-) DCs preferentially trigger CD4(+) T cell responses. Recent findings have revealed the important role played by monocyte-derived DCs (mo-DCs), newly formed during infection, in activating CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells, regulating immunoglobulin production, and killing pathogens. However, a number of controversial issues regarding the function of different DC subsets during viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections remain to be resolved.

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