Send to

Choose Destination
Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2012 Aug 1;4(8):a007401. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a007401.

Dendritic cells: arbiters of immunity and immunological tolerance.

Author information

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York, 10032, USA.


Dendritic cells (DCs) link innate immune sensing of the environment to the initiation of adaptive immune responses. Given their supreme capacity to interact with and present antigen to T cells, DCs have been proposed as key mediators of immunological tolerance in the steady state. However, recent evidence suggests that the role of DCs in central and peripheral T-cell tolerance is neither obligate nor dominant. Instead, DCs appear to regulate multiple aspects of T-cell physiology including tonic antigen receptor signaling, priming of effector T-cell response, and the maintenance of regulatory T cells. These diverse contributions of DCs may reflect the significant heterogeneity and "division of labor" observed between and within distinct DC subsets. The emerging complex role of different DC subsets should form the conceptual basis of DC-based therapeutic approaches toward induction of tolerance or immunization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center