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Semin Immunol. 2011 Feb;23(1):2-11. doi: 10.1016/j.smim.2011.02.001. Epub 2011 Mar 5.

Harnessing dendritic cells for immunotherapy.

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Genentech, 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA 94080, United States.


Dendritic cells (DC) are the antigen presenting cells that initiate and direct adaptive immune responses, capable of inducing protective adaptive immune responses and tolerance. They sample their surroundings, internalizing, processing and presenting antigens to T cells. They distinguish between self and foreign antigens with a wide array of microbial sensors, and induce immunity when antigen is captured in the presence of microbial products or inflammatory stimuli, but tolerance in the absence of these signals. However, not all DCs are identical. There are distinct DC subsets spread throughout the body, and although they share common features, they also have specialized functions. As a consequence, the outcome of the immune response is determined by the context in which the antigen is acquired, and also by the DC subset(s) involved. Here we discuss the features of the DC subsets, their handling of antigens for MHCI- and MHCII-restricted presentation, how their functions are regulated by foreign and endogenous signals, the consequences on the type of immune response induced, and how they provide insights on the design of immunotherapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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