Dendritic cells (DC) are crucial cells of the immune system, and bridge the essential connection between innate and adaptive immunity. They reside in the periphery as sentinels where they take up antigens. Upon activation, they migrate to lymphoid organs and present there the processed antigens to T cells, thereby activating them and eliciting a potent immune response. Dendritic cells are bone marrow-derived cells, still big controversies exist about their in vivo development. In vitro, DC can be generated from multiple precursor cells, among them lymphoid and myeloid committed progenitors. Although it remains unknown how DC are generated in vivo, studying the functions of in vitro generated DC results in fundamental knowledge of the DC biology with promising applications for future medicine. Therefore, in this review, we present current protocols for the generation of DC from precursors in vitro. We will do this for the mouse system, where most research occurs and for the human system, where research concentrates on implementing DC biology in disease treatments.

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Cellular & Molecular Immunology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Wan, H., & Dupasquier, M. (2005). Dendritic cells in vivo and in vitro. Cellular & Molecular Immunology. Retrieved from