Review of Dendritic Cells, Their Role in Clinical Immunology, and Distribution in Various Animal Species

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jul 28;22(15):8044. doi: 10.3390/ijms22158044.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are cells derived from the hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) of the bone marrow and form a widely distributed cellular system throughout the body. They are the most efficient, potent, and professional antigen-presenting cells (APCs) of the immune system, inducing and dispersing a primary immune response by the activation of naïve T-cells, and playing an important role in the induction and maintenance of immune tolerance under homeostatic conditions. Thus, this review has elucidated the general aspects of DCs as well as the current dynamic perspectives and distribution of DCs in humans and in various species of animals that includes mouse, rat, birds, dog, cat, horse, cattle, sheep, pig, and non-human primates. Besides the role that DCs play in immune response, they also play a pathogenic role in many diseases, thus becoming a target in disease prevention and treatment. In addition, its roles in clinical immunology have also been addressed, which include its involvement in transplantation, autoimmune disease, viral infections, cancer, and as a vaccine target. Therefore, based on the current knowledge and understanding of the important roles they play, DCs can be used in the future as a powerful tool for manipulating the immune system.

Keywords: animal species; clinical immunology; dendritic cells (DCs); human.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Virus Diseases / immunology