Dendritic cell lineage, plasticity and cross-regulation

Nat Immunol. 2001 Jul;2(7):585-9. doi: 10.1038/89726.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are professional antigen-presenting cells that have an extraordinary capacity to stimulate naïve T cells and initiate primary immune responses. Here we review progress in understanding the additional functions of DCs in regulating the types of T cell-mediated immune responses and innate immunity to microbes. In addition, evidence for the existence of myeloid and lymphoid DC lineages and their different functions are summarized. We propose that the diverse functions of DCs in immune regulation are dictated by the instructions they received during innate immune responses to different pathogens and from their evolutionary lineage heritage.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cross Reactions
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Dendritic Cells / physiology
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Humans
  • Interferon Type I / biosynthesis
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology
  • Lymphoid Tissue / cytology
  • Lymphoid Tissue / immunology
  • Th1 Cells / cytology
  • Th1 Cells / immunology*
  • Th2 Cells / cytology
  • Th2 Cells / immunology*


  • Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte
  • Cytokines
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Interferon Type I
  • invariant chain
  • Interferon-gamma