Date: 09 Sep 2011

Human Dendritic Cell Culture and Bacterial Infection

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Dendritic cells (DC) play a key role in the development of natural immunity to microbes. The DC form a bridge between the innate and adaptive immune system by providing key instructions particularly to antigen naïve T-cells. The interaction of DC with T lymphocytes involves three signals: (1) antigen processing and presentation in context of MHC Class I and/or II, (2) expression of T cell co-stimulatory molecules, and (3) cytokine production. Studying the interactions of DCs with specific pathogens allows for better understanding of how protective immunity is generated, and may be particularly useful for assessing vaccine components. In this chapter, we describe methods to generate human monocyte-derived DCs and assess their maturation, activation, and function, using interaction with the gram-negative bacterial pathogen Neisseria meningitidisas a model.