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Dendritic cells in infectious disease, hypersensitivity, and autoimmunity

Authors Gonzalez B, Guerra C, Morris D, Gray D, Venketaraman V

Published 2 November 2010 Volume 2010:2 Pages 137—147


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Brenda Gonzalez1,3, Carlos Guerra1, Devin Morris2, Dennis Gray1, Vishwanath Venketaraman1
1College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, 2Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona; 3California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA, USA

Abstract: Dendritic cells are thought to direct subsequent T lymphocyte-driven adaptive immune responses (Th1/Th2) following interaction with either endogenous or exogenous antigens. These cells have an integral role in the pathogenesis of countless infectious diseases, but their role is most vividly illustrated in human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and tuberculosis. Dendritic cells can arise from either myeloid or lymphoid progenitors, but the former is more common. Of particular importance are myeloid-related dendritic cells, plasmacytoid dendritic cells, infiltrating inflammatory dendritic epidermal cells, and Langerhans cells. Myeloid-related dendritic cells resemble typical monocytes, but produce cytokines that favor the cell-mediated immune response. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells resemble plasma cells, but have additional antigen-processing capabilities, and their major role is to produce interferon alpha and beta in response to viral infections. Inflammatory dendritic epidermal cells express the highest concentration of costimulatory molecules known in any cell lineage. Langerhans cells are the chief dendritic cells of the skin, and play a pivotal role in hypersensitivity and autoimmune pathologies, such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. Lastly, reduced glutathione has been implicated in modulation of the cytokine profiles of professional antigen-presenting cells, and holds promise as a future immunotherapeutic agent. This review discusses in detail the origin, characteristics, and overall functions of different types of dendritic cells. Furthermore, we have also highlighted the role of dendritic cells in infectious diseases and autoimmune diseases, with special reference to human immunodeficiency virus, tuberculosis, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis.

Keywords: dendritic cell, autoimmunity, tuberculosis, HIV, innate and adaptive immunity

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