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Eur J Immunol. 2010 Jun;40(6):1525-37. doi: 10.1002/eji.200940109.

Helminths and dendritic cells: sensing and regulating via pattern recognition receptors, Th2 and Treg responses.

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Department of Parasitology, Leiden University Medical Centre, ZA Leiden, The Netherlands.


The classical reaction of the host to helminth infections is the induction of Th2 immune responses with a regulatory component. DC, as central players in the induction and maintenance of immune responses, play a prominent role in both these processes, and in recent years considerable progress has been made in elucidating the mechanisms behind the interplay between DC and helminths. It is becoming increasingly clear that helminths modulate DC function not only via direct interactions but also indirectly via host-derived cues. Furthermore, while studies have until recently focused on receptor signaling-mediated DC modulation by helminths, evidence is emerging that DC may also respond to helminth infections by sensing stress signals or tissue damage inflicted by the worms or their products. Here, we will discuss these new insights and will link them to the origin and importance of Th2 and regulatory immune responses with respect to the survival of both parasite and host.

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