Dendritic cells: emerging pharmacological targets of immunosuppressive drugs

Nat Rev Immunol. 2004 Jan;4(1):24-34. doi: 10.1038/nri1256.


Immunosuppressive drugs have revolutionized organ transplantation and improved the therapeutic management of autoimmune diseases. The development of immunosuppressive drugs and understanding of their action traditionally has been focused on lymphocytes, but recent evidence indicates that these agents interfere with immune responses at the earliest stage, targeting key functions of dendritic cells (DCs). Here, we review our present understanding of how classical and new immunosuppressive agents interfere with DC development and function. This knowledge might provide a rational basis for the selection of immunosuppressive drugs in different clinical settings and for the generation of tolerogenic DCs in the laboratory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation / drug effects
  • Antigen Presentation / immunology
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cell Movement / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / drug effects*
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / immunology


  • Immunosuppressive Agents