, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 551-572

Human Dendritic Cell Subsets for Vaccination

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TProtective immunity results from the interplay of antigen (Ag)-nonspecific innate immunity and Ag-specific adaptive immunity. The cells and molecules of the innate system employ non-clonal recognition pathways such as lectins and TLRs. B and T lymphocytes of the adaptive immune system employ clonal receptors recognizing Ag or peptides in a highly specific manner. An essential link between innate and adaptive immunity is provided by dendritic cells (DCs). As a component of the innate immunc system, DC organize and transfer information from the outside world to the cells of the adaptive immune system. DC can induce such contrasting states as active immune responsiveness or immunological tolerance. Recent years have brought a wealth of information regarding DC biology and pathophysiology that shows the complexity of this cell system. Thus, presentation of antigen by immature (non-activated) DCs leads to tolerance, whereas mature, antigen-loaded DCs are geared towards the launching of antigen-specific immunity. Furthermore, DCs are composed of multiple subsets with distinct functions at the interface of the innate and adaptive immunity. Our increased understanding of DC pathophysiologywill permit their rational manipulation for therapy such as vaccination to improve immunity.