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Dendritic cells and fungi

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Buentke E, Scheynius A. Dendritic cells and fungi. APMIS 2003;111:789–96.

Fungi comprise a group of microorganisms that in the past 20 years has become increasingly important as a cause of human disease. Few fungi are professional but instead opportunistic pathogens, and some fungi can even act as allergens. Dendritic antigen-presenting cells function as a link between innate and adaptive immunity and are therefore important in recognition of pathogens. Effective defense requires the host to discriminate between different pathogens to induce an appropriate response. Signaling from different groups of microbes can be mediated via the Toll-like receptors (TLRs), leading to activation of conserved host defense signaling pathways that control the expression of a variety of immune response genes. Different dendritic cells (DCs) express different patterns of recognition molecules, which indicate that they are more or less efficient when responding to certain pathogens. DCs have an important role in the induction of cell-mediated immune responses to fungi, and the studies reviewed here show that fungi, or possibly fungi-derived factors, provide a powerful activation stimulus to DCs, resulting in DC maturation with upregulation of co-stimulatory molecules and production of cytokine patterns leading to different T cell responses. The possibility of using ex vivo-generated DCs as therapeutic tools for restoring anti-fungal immunity is a challenge for the future.
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Keywords: Dendritic cell activation; Malassezia; atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome; yeast

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Medicine, Unit of Clinical Allergy Research, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: July 1, 2003

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