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Adv Hematol. 2013;2013:949513. doi: 10.1155/2013/949513. Epub 2013 Feb 18.

Dendritic cell development: a choose-your-own-adventure story.

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Division of Biological Sciences, Sunnybrook Research Institute, 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada M4N 3M5 ; Department of Immunology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 1A8.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are essential components of the immune system and contribute to immune responses by activating or tolerizing T cells. DCs comprise a heterogeneous mixture of subsets that are located throughout the body and possess distinct and specialized functions. Although numerous defined precursors from the bone marrow and spleen have been identified, emerging data in the field suggests many alternative routes of DC differentiation from precursors with multilineage potential. Here, we discuss how the combinatorial expression of transcription factors can promote one DC lineage over another as well as the integration of cytokine signaling in this process.

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