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Dendritic Cell Homeostasis in the Regulation of Self-Reactivity

[ Vol. 9 , Issue. 3 ]


Burkhard Ludewig, Philippe Krebs, Tobias Junt and Gennady Bocharov   Pages 221 - 231 ( 11 )


Dendritic cells (DC) are known for their remarkable ability to induce specific T cell responses. However, the existing views on the role of DC in maintaining tolerance to self-antigens and induction of autoimmunity are somewhat controversial especially when the basic physiology of DC migration, function and homeostasis is considered. This review attempts to provide a comprehensive overview on these topics with particular emphasis on DC homeostasis and presents implications for the generation of pathological autoimmune T cell responses. Furthermore, we advocate the need for a conceptual characterization of the immune system operating in vivo. With particular focus on the contribution of DC, we suggest that a ‘spatiotemporal’ view of the rules for T cell responses (antigen dose and availability, duration and mode of antigen presentation) permits a better understanding of the relevant factors contributing to the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases.


dendritic cell, dc homeostasis, self-reactivity, langerhans cells, self-antigen


Laborforschungsabteilung, Haus 09, Kantonsspital St. Gallen, CH-9007 St. Gallen, Switzerland

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