USMLE

Dendritic Cells

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Immunology
  1. Innate Immunity
  2. Adaptive Immunity
  3. Macrophages
  4. Neutrophils
  5. Dendritic Cells
  6. Mast Cells
  7. Eosinophils
  8. Basophils
  9. Natural Killer Cells
  10. Antigens
  11. MHC I and II
  12. Antibodies
  13. B Lymphocytes Overview
  14. B Cell Stages
  15. B-Cell Activation
  16. Plasma B-Cells
  17. Memory B-Cells
  18. T-Lymphocytes Overview
  19. T-Cell Stages
  20. Types of Activated T-Cells

Summary

Dendritic cells are cells of the innate immune system that serve a crucial role in connecting the innate and adaptive immune responses. As phagocytes, dendritic cells monitor body surfaces for foreign pathogens. When they recognize a foreign pathogen, dendritic cells engulf or eat these pathogens, and digest them into little pieces called antigens. These antigens are then presented on their cell surface for recognition by T-cells to stimulate an adaptive immune response against the invading threat.

Key Points

  • Dendritic Cells
    • Innate immune cell
    • Phagocyte
      • Patrols outer surfaces of the body (skin, GI tract, etc.) to identify and eat possible pathogens
      • Foreign pathogens are put into phagosomes, which fuse with lysosomes to break down the pathogen
    • Presents antigens
      • Bridge between innate and adaptive immune response
      • Phagocytosed and processed antigens may be presented on cell surface for recognition by T-cells