The immune system of vertebrate animals is characterized by the capacity to respond to disturbances. This function requires 2 different approaches. First, the immune system responds in a few hours to infectious agents (innate immunity) by recognizing molecular patterns typical of microorganisms (but absent in self-tissues). Second, it mounts a late response that differentiates among different microbes, giving rise to memory (adaptive immunity). In this context, dendritic cells (DCs) play a central role, becoming efficient stimulators of both innate and adaptive responses after microbial activation. Recent data generated by global transcriptional profiling of DCs after bacterial encounter are discussed, as are the unique DC functional plasticity and the central role of DC-derived interleukin-2 in priming early and late immune responses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health