• allergic asthma;
  • allergy;
  • pDCs;
  • plasmacytoid dendritic cells;
  • tolerance


Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) are major type-I interferon-producing cells that play important roles in antiviral immunity and tolerance induction. These cells share a common DC progenitor with conventional DCs, and Fms-like tyrosine kinase-3 ligand is essential for their development. Several subsets of pDCs have been identified to date including CCR9+, CD9+, and CD2+ pDCs. Recently, three subsets of pDCs were described, namely CD8αβ, CD8α+β, and CD8α+β+ subsets. Interestingly, CD8α+β and CD8α+β+ but not CD8αβ pDCs were shown to have tolerogenic effects in experimentally induced allergic asthma. These tolerogenic effects were shown to be mediated by the generation of FOXP3+ regulatory T cells through retinoic acid and the induction of retinaldehyde dehydrogenase enzymes. These newly described subsets of pDCs show high potentials for novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment of allergic diseases. In this review, we will address the new progress in our understanding of pDC biology with respect to allergic disease, in particular allergic asthma.