Dendritic cells (DCs) orchestrate a repertoire of immune responses that endows resistance to infection and tolerance to self. Understanding the principles by which DCs control immunity and tolerance has provided a rich basis for studying and improving clinical outcome of human disease treatment. Several features contribute to the complexity of the DC system. Among these, plasticity and existence of subsets are prominent determinants to the quality of the elicited immune responses. Indeed, different DC subsets are distributed in peripheral tissues and the blood and display different microbial receptors, surface molecules and cytokine expression, all of which influence the immunologic outcome. The biologic raison d'être for separate DC subsets has been the focus of many studies including our own and is being reviewed with an emphasis on human skin DCs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas