Neural regulation of dendritic cell function

  • Georges JM Maestroni
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 495)


DC are a trace population of bone marrow-derived antigen-presenting cells, irregular in shape and widely distributed in both lymphoid and non-lymphoid tissues (1 2). Those having migrated to non-lymphoid tissues such as the epidermal layer of the skin, the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems and interstitial regions of solid organs are considered immature. On the contrary, fully mature DC are located in lymphoid organs. After antigen internalization and inflammation, DC leave the tissues interfacing with the external environment and enter the lymphatic vessels to reach the lymphoid organs and undergo maturation (1-3). While still immature the primary function of DC is to capture and process antigens, then to present the antigenic peptides and activate specific T cells (1 2). In fact, DC have adhesion molecules to ensure T cell contact, high surface levels of Major Histocompatibility Complex II molecules for peptide presentation and costimulatory molecules such as CD8O-B7/1 and CD86-B7/2. T cells may in turn induce DC maturation via CD40 binding (1 2). The ability of DC to migrate from areas of antigen encounter to sites of T cell priming is fundamental to their capacity of stimulating an immune response; however, how DC know where to go is still rather obscure, The major route of DC entry into lymph nodes are the afferent lymphatic vessels (3 4). Chemokines expressed by endothelial cells in lymphatics and lymph node venules and chemokine receptors in DC seem to contribute to DC migration as chemoattractants and by triggering integrin-dependent adhesive interactions(4-6).


Bone Marrow Culture Dendritic Cell Function Adrenergic Antagonist CD40 Stimulation Secondary Lymphoid Tissue Chemokine 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Georges JM Maestroni
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Experimental PathologyIstituto Cantonale di PatologiaLocarnoSwitzerland

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