Seminars in Immunopathology

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 153–163 | Cite as

Dendritic cells as gatekeepers of tolerance

  • Ari Waisman
  • Dominika Lukas
  • Björn E. Clausen
  • Nir Yogev


Dendritic cells (DC) are unique hematopoietic cells, linking innate and adaptive immune responses. In particular, they are considered as the most potent antigen presenting cells, governing both T cell immunity and tolerance. In view of their exceptional ability to present antigen and to interact with T cells, DC play distinct roles in shaping T cell development, differentiation and function. The outcome of the DC-T cell interaction is determined by the state of DC maturation, the type of DC subset, the cytokine microenvironment and the tissue location. Both regulatory T cells (Tregs) and DC are indispensable for maintaining central and peripheral tolerance. Over the past decade, accumulating data indicate that DC critically contribute to Treg differentiation and homeostasis.


Tolerance induction Dendritic cells Regulatory T cells 



We thank Tommy Regen, Ronald Backer and Julia Ober-Blöbaum for critical reading of the manuscript. Research that is relevant for this review is and has been supported by grants from, respectively, the DFG (SFB TR128 and TR156 to AW) and the NWO (VIDI 917-76-365 to BEC) as well as by the Forschungszentrum für Immuntherapie (FZI) Mainz.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Molecular MedicineUniversity Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University MainzMainzGermany
  2. 2.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University MainzMainzGermany
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyUniversity Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University MainzMainzGermany

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