Plasmacytoid dendritic cells: key players in the initiation and regulation of immune responses

Authors

Errata

This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Corrigendum for Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 1183: 89–103 Volume 1188, 232, Article first published online: 23 February 2010

Address for correspondence: Michel Gilliet, The University of Texas, Department of Immunology and Melanoma Medical Oncology, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 7455 Fannin Street, Houston, TX 77030. Voice: 713-563-3302; fax: 713-563-0406. mgilliet@mdanderson.org

Abstract

Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) are a rare population of circulating cells that selectively express Toll-like receptors (TLR)7 and TLR9 and have the capacity to produce large amounts of type I interferons (IFNs) in response to viruses or host-derived nucleic acid-containing complexes. Through the production of type I IFNs, pDCs initiate protective immunity by activating classical DCs, T cells, natural killer cells, and B cells. Upon activation, pDCs also differentiate into mature DCs and may contribute to the contraction of T-cell responses. In this review, we describe how pDCs are key players in the initiation and regulation of immune responses and discuss their emerging role in the pathogenesis of human diseases.

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