Dendritic Cells

Author: V. Dimov, M.D., Allergist/Immunologist and Assistant Professor at University of Chicago
Reviewer: S. Randhawa, M.D., Allergist/Immunologist and Assistant Professor at LSU (Shreveport) Department of Allergy and Immunology

Dendritic cells (DCs) are immune cells whose main function is to process antigen material and present it on the surface to other cells of the immune system, thus functioning as antigen-presenting cells (APC).

Dendritic Cell Migration. Dendritic cells are the key antigen presenting cells of the immune system. This video describes how they do this. This video is from: Janeway's Immunobiology, 7th Edition, Murphy, Travers, & Walport. Source: Garland Science.

The most common division of dendritic cells is "myeloid" vs. "plasmacytoid" (or "lymphoid"):

- Myeloid dendritic cell (mDC)
- Plasmacytoid dendritic cell (pDC)

Dendritic cells express CD80/CD86 which interact with CD28 on T cell to provide co-stimulation of the T cell.

Dendritic cells are classified into 4 subsets:

- Myeloid (DC1)
- Plasmacytoid (DC2)
- Langerhans
- Interstitial

Dendritic Cell Subsets (click to enlarge the image).

HIV can attach to dendritic cells through the binding of gp120 to the adhesion molecule DC-SIGN (dendritic cell-specific intercellular adhesion molecule-grabbing nonintegrin).

Related reading

Dendritic cell, Wikipedia.
Nobel Prize in Medicine 2011 - for discovery of dendritic cells and LPS and

Published: 06/17/2009
Updated: 06/17/2011

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