Molecular characterization of human plasmacytoid dendritic cells.

Department of Immunology, Unit 901, 7455 Fannin, The University of Texas M D Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
Journal of Clinical Immunology (Impact Factor: 2.65). 04/2009; 29(3):257-64. DOI: 10.1007/s10875-009-9284-x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION: Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) represent a unique and important immune cell population capable of producing large quantifies of type I interferon (IFN) in response to viruses as well as nucleic acid-containing complexes from the host. These rare and mysterious cells have been revealed by in-depth molecular characterization. Several innate sensors and signaling molecules enriched in pDCs allow their specialized innate immune functions. In addition, human pDCs use a group of surface receptors that, through activation of a B-cell receptor (BCR)-like signaling pathway, modulate type I IFN responses. It is clear now that pDC development is influenced by distinctive transcription factors that specify a unique lineage. CD4(+)CD56(+) hematodermic neoplasm of human pDC origin has been revealed in explicit molecular terms. CONCLUSION: A detailed molecular description of pDCs helps us better define, understand, and track human pDCs in relation to their functions and physiological involvement.

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    ABSTRACT: Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) are a specific subset of naturally occurring dendritic cells, that secrete large amounts of Type I interferon and play an important role in the immune response against viral infection. Several studies have highlighted that they are also effective antigen presenting cells, making them an interesting target for immunotherapy against cancer. However, the modes of action of pDCs are not restricted to antigen presentation and IFN secretion alone. In this review we will highlight a selection of cell surface proteins expressed by human pDCs that may facilitate communication with other immune cells, and we will discuss the implications of these molecules for pDC-driven immune responses.
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