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Trends Immunol. 2013 Nov;34(11):521-30. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2013 Aug 21.

Dendritic cells and other innate determinants of T helper cell polarisation.

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Immune Regulation Research Group and Immunology Research Centre, School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland.


Adaptive immunity plays a crucial role in natural host defence against pathogens and tumours, and is central to the long-term protective effect of vaccines. It is mediated by T and B cells that are activated through antigen-specific receptors. By contrast, innate immunity responds immediately to infection and damage, and is activated through binding of conserved pathogen or damage-associated molecules to pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) on dendritic cells (DCs) and other innate immunity cell types. Recent studies have demonstrated that the innate immune system also functions to direct the adaptive immune response, not only through antigen presentation but also by providing the key signals for the differentiation of naive CD4+ T cells into functionally distinct T helper (Th) cell subtypes.


CD4 T cells; PAMPs; Th cell subtypes; adaptive immunity; dendritic cells; innate immunity

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