Dendritic cells and viral immunity: friends or foes?

Semin Immunol. 2001 Oct;13(5):303-10. doi: 10.1006/smim.2001.0326.


Dendritic cells (DC) residing in epithelial tissues of various mucosae and the skin are characterized by the unique ability to capture antigens and migrate to draining lymph nodes, where they can activate naive and memory T cells. Although DC play a pivotal role in inducing protective immunity to viral infection, they can also be exploited by viruses to evade the host immune response, induce immune suppression, or serve as latent viral reservoirs. Thus, virus interactions with DC may lead to an immune response that can be protective, but does not necessarily lead to complete virus elimination, resulting in immunopathology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Dendritic Cells / virology*
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Retroviridae / immunology*
  • Retroviridae Infections / immunology*
  • Retroviridae Infections / virology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / virology