, Volume 343, Issue 1, pp 33-41
Date: 08 Sep 2010

Mucosal dendritic cell diversity in the gastrointestinal tract

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The discovery of dendritic cells (DCs) in skin by Paul Langerhans in 1868 identified a cell type which has since been recognized as a key link between innate and adaptive immunity. DCs originate from bone marrow and disseminate through blood to all tissues in the body, and distinct DC subpopulations have been identified in many different tissues. DC diversity is apparent throughout all mucosal surfaces of the body, but the focus of this review article is DC diversity throughout the gastro-intestinal tract (GIT). DC subpopulations have been well characterized in the oral cavity and small intestine, but DC characterization in other regions, such as the esophagus and stomach, is limited. Substantial research has focused on DC function during disease, but understanding the regulation of inflammation and the induction of acquired immune responses requires combined phenotypic and functional characterization of individual DC subpopulations. Furthermore, little is known regarding mucosal DC subpopulations in the GIT of the neonate and how these DC populations change following colonization by commensal microflora. The current review will highlight mucosal DC diversity and discuss factors that may influence mucosal DC differentiation.

Philip Griebel

is a holder of a Tier I CRC in Neonatal Mucosal Immunology and Patrick Fries is funded by Genome Canada. This article is published with the permission of the Director of VIDO as manuscript #585.