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This article is part of the supplement: The Scientific Basis of Rheumatology

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The instructive role of dendritic cells on T-cell responses

Federica Sallusto and Antonio Lanzavecchia*

Author Affiliations

Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Bellinzona, Switzerland

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Arthritis Res 2002, 4(Suppl 3):S127-S132  doi:10.1186/ar567

London, UK. 24-26 June 2002

Published: 9 May 2002


Immune responses are initiated in the T-cell areas of secondary lymphoid organs where naïve T lymphocytes encounter dendritic cells (DCs) that present antigens taken up in peripheral tissues. DCs represent the interface between the universe of foreign and tissue-specific antigens and T lymphocytes, and they are the key players in the regulation of cell-mediated immunity. We discuss how the nature of the DC maturation stimuli and the density and quality of DCs present in the T-cell areas of secondary lymphoid organs determine the magnitude and class of the T-cell response.

dendritic cells; effector and memory T cells; T-cell activation; T-cell tolerance