Article

Dendritic cells and epithelial cells: linking innate and adaptive immunity in asthma.

Department of Respiratory Diseases, Laboratory of Immunoregulation and Mucosal Immunology, University Hospital Ghent, Belgium.
Nature Reviews Immunology 04/2008; 8(3):193-204. DOI: 10.1038/nri2275
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Dendritic cells (DCs) are generally held responsible for initiating and maintaining allergic T helper 2 (T(H)2)-cell responses to inhaled allergens in asthma. Although the epithelium was initially considered to function solely as a physical barrier, it is now seen as a central player in the T(H)2-cell sensitization process by influencing the function of DCs. Clinically relevant allergens, as well as known environmental and genetic risk factors for allergy and asthma, often interfere directly or indirectly with the innate immune functions of airway epithelial cells and DCs. A better understanding of these interactions, ascertained from human and animal studies, might lead to better prevention and treatment of asthma.

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