Toll-like receptor (TLR) 3 recognizes double-stranded RNA and triggers the production of type 1 interferon and inflammatory cytokines/chemokines. Its engagement in dendritic cells (DCs) induces their maturation into potent immunostimulatory cells endowed with the capacity to efficiently cross-prime T lymphocytes. Owing to these properties, TLR3 agonists are currently under investigation as promising adjuvants in DC-based immunotherapy protocols for the treatment of viral and neoplastic diseases. Thus, a detailed understanding of the cascade of events specifically triggered in DCs upon engagement of this receptor is of great interest in translational research. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on TLR3 signalling in DCs and highlight similarities and differences with respect to other cell types.
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