Dendritic cells are bone marrow-derived professional antigen presenting cells that play major roles in both the induction of primary immune responses and tolerance. It has become clear that dendritic cells are a heterogenous group of cells that vary in cell surface marker expression and function. Multiple dendritic cell subsets have now been defined in mouse lymphoid organs and peripheral tissues. A knowledge of the function and relationship between dendritic cell subsets will be essential for understanding the regulation of immune homeostasis, immune responses and tolerance. While an increasing number of dendritic cell progenitors are being identified, the pathways that connect them remain unclear. In addition, it is unclear whether the functional divisions reflect maturation status, subset specialization or functional plasticity in response to specific pathogen and environmental signals. This review summarizes the current knowledge about the function and lineage relationship of dendritic cell subsets. It also discusses some of the difficulties associated with dendritic cell subset analysis.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Immunology and Cell Biology|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2003|