Dendritic cells in the gut: interaction with intestinal helminths

J Biomed Biotechnol. 2010;2010:250563. doi: 10.1155/2010/250563. Epub 2010 Mar 9.

Abstract

The mucosal environment in mammals is highly tolerogenic; however, after exposure to pathogens or danger signals, it is able to shift towards an inflammatory response. Dendritic cells (DCs) orchestrate immune responses and are highly responsible, through the secretion of cytokines and expression of surface markers, for the outcome of such immune response. In particular, the DC subsets found in the intestine have specialized functions and interact with different immune as well as nonimmune cells. Intestinal helminths primarily induce Th2 responses where DCs have an important yet not completely understood role. In addition, this cross-talk results in the induction of regulatory T cells (T regs) as a result of the homeostatic mucosal environment. This review highlights the importance of studying the particular relation "helminth-DC-milieu" in view of the significance that each of these factors plays. Elucidating the mechanisms that trigger Th2 responses may provide the understanding of how we might modulate inflammatory processes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Helminths / immunology*
  • Helminths / pathogenicity*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / immunology*
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / parasitology*
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / pathology
  • Intestines / immunology*
  • Intestines / parasitology*
  • Intestines / pathology
  • Models, Immunological