Migration of dendritic cell subsets and their precursors

Annu Rev Immunol. 2008;26:293-316. doi: 10.1146/annurev.immunol.26.021607.090254.


The ability of dendritic cells (DCs) to initiate and orchestrate immune responses is a consequence of their localization within tissues and their specialized capacity for mobilization. The migration of a given DC subset is typified by a restricted capacity for recirculation, contrasting markedly with T cells. Routes of DC migration into lymph nodes differ notably for distinct DC subsets. Here, we compare the distinct migratory patterns of plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs), CD8alpha(+) DCs, Langerhans cells, and conventional myeloid DCs and discuss how the highly regulated patterns of DC migration in vivo may affect their roles in immunity. Finally, to gain a more molecular appreciation of the specialized migratory properties of DCs, we review the signaling cascades that govern the process of DC migration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement / immunology*
  • Chemotaxis / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Lymph / cytology
  • Lymphoid Tissue / cytology
  • Lymphoid Tissue / immunology
  • Models, Immunological
  • Signal Transduction / immunology