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Open Access Ontogenic Development and Population Dynamics of Hepatic Dendritic Cells

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Dendritic cells (DCs) are rare, bone marrow-derived antigen-presenting cells (APCs) characterized by a unique capacity to stimulate naïve T cells and initiate primary immune responses. The special immunological microenvironment in the liver is associated with the induction of tolerance to dietary food antigens, and yet, it maintains the capacity to sustain effective responses against pathogens. Recent studies have provided data to elucidate the critical roles that DCs play in the induction of central and peripheral immunological tolerance, in regulating the types of T cell immune responses, and functioning as sentinels in innate immunity against microbes in the liver. The diverse functions of hepatic DCs in immune regulation depend on the heterogeneity of DC subsets and their functional plasticity. Here, we review recent progress in our understanding of the ontogenic development, the population dynamics, and the functional plasticity of DCs in the liver.

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Keywords: Dendritic cells; Hepatic DCs; Liver-regulatory DC; development; hepatocytes; immunity; liver; liver diseases; ontogenic development; subset heterogeneity

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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  • Current Immunology Reviews publishes frontier reviews on all the latest advances in clinical immunology. The journal's aim is to publish the highest quality review articles dedicated to clinical research in the field. The journal is essential reading for all researchers and clinicians in clinical immunology.
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