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Immunobiology. 2010 Sep-Oct;215(9-10):692-7. doi: 10.1016/j.imbio.2010.05.013. Epub 2010 Jun 4.

The diverse ontogeny and function of murine small intestinal dendritic cell/macrophage subsets.

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Immunology Section, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.


Intestinal dendritic cell and macrophage subsets are believed to play key roles in maintaining intestinal homeostasis in the steady state and in driving protective immune responses in the setting of intestinal infection. This mini-review focuses on recent progress regarding the ontogeny and function of small intestinal lamina propria dendritic cell/macrophage subsets. In particular we discuss recent findings suggesting that small intestinal CD103(+) dendritic cells and Cx3cr1(+) cells derive from distinct precursor populations and that CD103(+) dendritic cells represent the major migratory population of cells with a key role in initiating adaptive immune responses in the draining mesenteric lymph node. In contrast, Cx3cr1(+) cells appear to represent a tissue resident population, phenotypically indistinguishable from tissue resident macrophages. These latter observations suggest an important division of labour between dendritic cell/macrophage subsets in the regulation of intestinal immune responses in the steady state.

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