Role of inflammatory dendritic cells in innate and adaptive immunity

Eur J Immunol. 2012 Oct;42(10):2535-43. doi: 10.1002/eji.201242480.


The major role of cells of the dendritic family in immunity and tolerance has been amply documented. Since their discovery in 1973, these cells have gained increasing interest from immunologists, as they are able to detect infectious agents, migrate to secondary lymphoid tissue, and prime naive T lymphocytes, thereby driving immune responses. Surprisingly, they can also have the opposite function, that is, preventing immune responses, as they are involved in central and peripheral tolerance. Most dendritic cells (DCs) derive from a common precursor and do not arise from monocytes and are considered "conventional" DCs. However, a new population of DCs, namely "inflammatory" DCs, has recently been identified, which is not present in the steady state but differentiates from monocytes during infection/inflammation. In this review, we summarize the role of these "inflammatory" DCs in innate and adaptive immunity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Cell Movement / immunology
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Monocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Cytokines