Dendritic cell development: a choose-your-own-adventure story

Adv Hematol. 2013;2013:949513. doi: 10.1155/2013/949513. Epub 2013 Feb 18.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are essential components of the immune system and contribute to immune responses by activating or tolerizing T cells. DCs comprise a heterogeneous mixture of subsets that are located throughout the body and possess distinct and specialized functions. Although numerous defined precursors from the bone marrow and spleen have been identified, emerging data in the field suggests many alternative routes of DC differentiation from precursors with multilineage potential. Here, we discuss how the combinatorial expression of transcription factors can promote one DC lineage over another as well as the integration of cytokine signaling in this process.