Immunology

Outsourcing is a matter of time

Immune cells found in the mouse kidney at various stages of development are morphologically virtually indistinguishable. It now turns out that these cells are derived from different tissue sources at different stages in the ...

Immunology

How dying cells prevent dangerous immune reactions

Dying cells in the body can keep the immune system in check, thus preventing unwanted immune responses against the body's own tissues. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center have now identified a receptor on murine ...

Neuroscience

Harnessing the microbiome to improve stroke recovery

Supplementing the body's short chain fatty acids can improve stroke recovery, according to research in mice recently published in JNeurosci. Short chain fatty acid supplementation may be a non-invasive addition to stroke ...

Medications

The danger behind certain biologics

Autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and Crohn's disease plague tens of millions of Americans and are the result of the body's immune system, whose role is to fight against disease-causing pathogens, ...

Oncology & Cancer

Researchers find simpler, more effective cancer vaccine approach

Using a precursor to dendritic cells appears to be an efficient and effective way to stimulate the immune system to fight cancer tumors, according to a study in animal and cell models by researchers at the Duke Cancer Institute.

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Dendritic cell

Dendritic cells (DCs) are immune cells that form part of the mammalian immune system. Their main function is to process antigen material and present it on the surface to other cells of the immune system, thus functioning as antigen-presenting cells.

Dendritic cells are present in small quantities in tissues that are in contact with the external environment, mainly the skin (where there is a specialized dendritic cell type called Langerhans cells) and the inner lining of the nose, lungs, stomach and intestines. They can also be found in an immature state in the blood. Once activated, they migrate to the lymphoid tissues where they interact with T cells and B cells to initiate and shape the adaptive immune response. At certain development stages they grow branched projections, the dendrites, that give the cell its name. However, these do not have any special relation with neurons, which also possess similar appendages. Immature dendritic cells are also called veiled cells, in which case they possess large cytoplasmic 'veils' rather than dendrites.

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