The lung is continuously exposed to inhaled particles, microbes and harmless antigens to which either immunity or tolerance is induced. Dendritic cells are mainly recognized for their extraordinary capacity to induce a primary immune response in the lung. Recent evidence suggests that particular subsets of DCs are essential in the decision between immunity or tolerance. Moreover, DCs play an essential role during secondary immune responses in the lung, where they control the inflammatory reaction. These novel concepts are of particular interest in understanding the pathogenesis of asthma, a disorder of aberrant immune reactivity to inhaled harmless allergens.

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Seminars in Immunology
Department of Pulmonology

de Heer, H.J, Hammad, H, Kool, M, & Lambrecht, B.N.M. (2005). Dendritic cell subsets and immune regulation in the lung. Seminars in Immunology (Vol. 17, pp. 295–303). doi:10.1016/j.smim.2005.05.002