Classical dendritic cells (cDCs) form a critical interface between innate and adaptive immunity. As myeloid immune cell sentinels, cDCs are specialized in the sensing of pathogen challenges and cancer. They translate the latter for T cells into peptide form. Moreover, cDCs provide additional critical information on the original antigen context to trigger a diverse spectrum of appropriate protective responses. Here we review recent progress in our understanding of cDC subsets in mice. We will discuss cDC subset ontogeny and transcription factor dependencies, as well as emerging functional specializations within the cDC compartment in lymphoid and nonlymphoid tissues.
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