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Why are dendritic cells important in allergic diseases of the respiratory tract?

Upham, J.W. and Stumbles, P.A. (2003) Why are dendritic cells important in allergic diseases of the respiratory tract? Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 100 (1). pp. 75-87.

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Increasing evidence points to the role of antigen-presenting dendritic cells (DC) in regulating adaptive immune responses. DC are especially sensitive to signals derived from microbes, allergens, and the airway tissue microenvironment, can polarize naı¨ve T-cells into either Th1 or Th2 effector cells, and are increasingly recognized as having a central role in the establishment of T-cell memory and tolerance to inhaled antigens. DC form a closely meshed network within the respiratory mucosa and are rapidly recruited from the circulation in response to a variety of proinflammatory stimuli. Studies using animal models have highlighted the role of DC in both initiation and maintenance of allergic airway inflammation. Increased numbers of airway mucosal DC are found in both allergic rhinitis and asthma, and an increasing number of investigators have highlighted important functional differences between DC from atopic and normal individuals. This article reviews recent information on the involvement of DC in the pathogenesis of allergic airway disease and the means by which DC could be exploited as targets for therapy in asthma and allergic rhinitis.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Pergamon Press
Copyright: 2003 Elsevier Inc
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