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Semin Immunol. 2011 Feb;23(1):28-41. doi: 10.1016/j.smim.2011.01.006. Epub 2011 Feb 4.

Harnessing dendritic cells in inflammatory skin diseases.

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St. John's Institute of Dermatology, King's College London and NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Guy's and St. Thomas' Hospitals, 9th floor Tower Wing, Guy's Hospital, London SE1 9RT, United Kingdom.


The skin immune system harbors a complex network of dendritic cells (DCs). Recent studies highlight a diverse functional specialization of skin DC subsets. In addition to generating cellular and humoral immunity against pathogens, skin DCs are involved in tolerogenic mechanisms to ensure the maintenance of immune homeostasis, as well as in pathogenesis of chronic inflammation in the skin when excessive immune responses are initiated and unrestrained. Harnessing DCs by directly targeting DC-derived molecules or selectively modulate DC subsets is a convincing strategy to tackle inflammatory skin diseases. In this review we discuss recent advances underlining the functional specialization of skin DCs and discuss the potential implication for future DC-based therapeutic strategies.

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