Medical research

A specific subset of immune cells that mitigates kidney damage

The immune system is highly complex. For example, a particular class of cells called mononuclear phagocytes (MNPs) plays important roles in the uptake and disposal of damaged cells, the elimination of invasive pathogens and ...

Immunology

How immune cells survive their battle with cancer

The body's immune system can recognize and attack cancer cells, but when those are able to overcome this assault, malignant tumors develop in patients. New research led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

A promising two-punch therapy for Langerhans cell histiocytosis

Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) is a rare cancer involving dendritic cells, a type of white blood cell that usually helps defend against infections. The current standard of care for LCH, chemotherapy, cures fewer than ...

Medical research

Common tumor inhibitor drug triggers unfavorable immune effects

Cancer immunotherapy involving drugs that inhibit CTLA-4 also activates an unwanted response that may self-limit its efficacy in fighting tumors, according to a new study led by Francesco Marangoni, Ph.D., assistant professor ...

Oncology & Cancer

Protein disguise could be new target for cancer immunotherapy

Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute have identified a protein that helps tumors evade the immune system and, in certain types of cancers, is linked to a poorer chance of survival. The protein could become a target ...

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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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