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Tolerogenic dendritic cells for autoimmune disease and transplantation
  1. A W Thomson1,2,
  2. P D Robbins2,3
  1. 1
    Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  2. 2
    Department of Immunology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  3. 3
    Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Dr A W Thomson, University of Pittsburgh, 200 Lothrop Street, W1540 BST, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA; thomsonaw{at}upmc.edu

Abstract

Dendritic leucocytes are professional antigen-presenting cells with inherent tolerogenic properties and are regarded as critical regulators of innate and adaptive immunity. Modification of dendritic cells (DCs) in the laboratory can enhance and stabilise their tolerogenic properties. Numerous reports suggest that such immature, maturation-resistant or “alternatively activated” DCs can regulate autoreactive or alloreactive T-cell responses and promote or restore antigen-specific tolerance in experimental animal models. The first clinical testing of tolerogenic DCs in human autoimmune disease, including rheumatoid arthritis, is imminent. Herein the properties of tolerogenic DCs and prospects for their testing in chronic inflammatory disease and transplantation are reviewed.

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Footnotes

  • Funding: The authors’ work is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.

  • Competing interests: None.

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