Lipids in dendritic cell biology: messengers, effectors, and antigens

J Leukoc Biol. 2007 Jan;81(1):154-60. doi: 10.1189/jlb.0706438. Epub 2006 Sep 13.


Dendritic cells (DC) are the most professional APC, which induce and coordinate immune responses. The principal task of DC is T cell activation, although DC also interact with and regulate other cell types. The present review serves to illustrate the increasing evidence that lipids play an important role in DC biology. In addition to being fuel stores and structural components of cellular membranes such as in other cell types, lipids act as second messengers and as effectors throughout all steps of DC differentiation and regulate important DC functions. The recent finding that DC synthesize lipid antigens in response to bacterial stimulation and induce antibacterial, CD1-restricted T cells through antigenic mimicry further emphasizes the important role of lipids and DC at the blurring boundaries of innate and adaptive immunity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation / immunology
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Antigens, CD1 / immunology*
  • Cell Movement
  • Dendritic Cells / microbiology
  • Dendritic Cells / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Lipids / immunology
  • Lipids / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Signal Transduction*
  • T-Lymphocytes / microbiology
  • T-Lymphocytes / physiology


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Antigens, CD1
  • Lipids