General Features of Dendritic Cells
The most rapidly evolving aspect of dendritic cell (DC) biology is the magnificent diversity of phenotypes that have been described from both mice and humans through in vitro and in vivo studies. Initially, DCs were defined as a trace population of immunocytes that were negative for markers of myeloid and lymphoid lineages and expressed very high levels of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II antigens, a hallmark of antigen-presenting cells (APCs). Functionally, DCs were found to be potent stimulators of allogenic T cells in vitro. Phase contrast microscopy revealed the existence of dendritic processes on DCs. Many new features of DCs have since been discovered, and several characteristics previously attributed to DCs are no longer considered valid.
KeywordsMajor Histocompatibility Complex Dendritic Cell Maturation Dendritic Cell Subset Dendritic Cell Function Dendritic Cell Differentiation
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