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J Immunol. 2008 Nov 1;181(9):5829-35.

Macrophages as APC and the dendritic cell myth.

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The Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom.


Dendritic cells have been considered an immune cell type that is specialized for the presentation of Ag to naive T cells. Considerable effort has been applied to separate their lineage, pathways of differentiation, and effectiveness in Ag presentation from those of macrophages. This review summarizes evidence that dendritic cells are a part of the mononuclear phagocyte system and are derived from a common precursor, responsive to the same growth factors (including CSF-1), express the same surface markers (including CD11c), and have no unique adaptation for Ag presentation that is not shared by other macrophages.

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