Dendritic cells (DC) are professional antigen presenting cells (APC) with a dual function in the immune system. On the one hand, these specialized leukocytes are equipped to alert the immune system to invading pathogens or other danger signals. On the other, DC can promote tolerogenic responses, a function believed to be of importance to avoid unlimited immune responses or immunity against self or harmless antigens. To perform these actions, DC continuously sample their antigenic environment, capturing antigens through specific receptor-mediated endocytosis, (macro)pinocytosis or phagocytosis. Recognition of potential danger leads them to instruct and activate antigen-specific adaptive immune cells. Conversely, tolerance is induced by DC that have encountered antigen in the absence of danger signals.

Additional Metadata
Keywords dentritic cells, immune system
Promotor H.L.A. Janssen (Harry) , P.J. Coffer (Paul)
Publisher Erasmus University Rotterdam
ISBN 978-90-8570-783-7
Persistent URL
van de Laar, L. (2011, December 21). Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Human Dendritic Cell Development, Survival and Function. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from