Dendritic Cells

Dendritic cells (DC) are professional antigen presenting cells with the distinctive ability to initiate naïve T cell responses to cognate antigen. Dendritic cells orchestrate the functional outcome of T cell activation depending on the type of DC presenting antigen and the physiologic conditions in which DC:T cell interactions take place. In addition to their role in activating naïve T cells, DCs are thought to play a critical role in guiding the differentiation of regulatory T cells as well as the development of T cell tolerance.

Dendritic cells represent an extremely heterogeneous population of cells in both humans and mice with the various subsets defined by their specific repertoire of cell surface molecules and resident location.