Dendritic cells in intestinal homeostasis and disease

J Clin Invest. 2009 Sep;119(9):2441-50. doi: 10.1172/JCI39134. Epub 2009 Sep 1.


DCs are specialized APCs that orchestrate innate and adaptive immune responses. The intestinal mucosa contains numerous DCs, which induce either protective immunity to infectious agents or tolerance to innocuous antigens, including food and commensal bacteria. Several subsets of mucosal DCs have been described that display unique functions, dictated in part by the local microenvironment. In this review, we summarize the distinct subtypes of DCs and their distribution in the gut; examine how DC dysfunction contributes to intestinal disease development, including inflammatory bowel disease and celiac disease; and discuss manipulation of DCs for therapy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Celiac Disease / etiology
  • Celiac Disease / immunology
  • Celiac Disease / therapy
  • Dendritic Cells / classification
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Immunity, Mucosal
  • Immunosuppression
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / etiology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / immunology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / therapy
  • Intestinal Diseases / etiology*
  • Intestinal Diseases / immunology
  • Intestinal Diseases / therapy
  • Intestines / cytology
  • Intestines / immunology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Models, Immunological