Dendritic cells (DCs) are currently divided into tolerogenic immature and immunogenic mature differentiation stages. However, recent findings challenge this model by reporting mature DCs as inducers of regulatory CD4+ T cells in vivo. This implies that decisive tolerogenic and immunogenic maturation signals for DCs might exist. Closer inspection reveals that tolerance is observed when partial- or semi-maturation of DCs occurs, whereas only full DC maturation is immunogenic. The decisive immunogenic signal seems to be the release of proinflammatory cytokines from the DCs. Moreover, the semi-mature DC phenotype is comparable to steady-state migratory veiled DCs within the lymphatics, which seem to continuously tolerize lymph node T cells against tissue-derived self-antigens or apoptotic cells.