The skin is inhabited by several immune cell populations that serve as a first line of defence against pathogen invasion. Amongst these populations are dendritic cells, which play an essential sentinel function by taking up antigen or infectious agents and transporting them to the lymph node for T cell recognition and the priming of immune responses. In this review, we briefly summarise recent advances showing how skin dendritic cells are connected to a network of epithelial and stromal cells, which provide structural support, growth factors, spatial cues, contact with the external environment and the skin microbiome, and favour interactions with other immune cells. We propose that this network creates a unique skin environment that may condition dendritic cell phenotype and function.
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