Immunomodulation By Dendritic Cells

DC behave like central processing units. They respond to cells and cytokines in their environment and direct the outcome of an immune response. As mentioned above, a key function of DC is priming and activation of a variety of T cells. Induction of effective CTL responses is often dependent on the assistance by T-helper cells [22]. Recent studies have shown that this help is mediated by the interaction of CD40 on the surface of DC with CD40L on activated T-helper cells that greatly increases the efficiency of antigen presentation and the costimulatory capacity of DC [23-25], In such a way activated DC are able to directly prime CTL precursors. Beside CTL, DC are also found to regulate T-helper cell 1 (Thl) and T helper cell 2 (Th2) differentiation by secretion of the relevant cytokines. For example, DC produce IL-12, a potent immunoregulatory cytokine that plays a pivotal role in the development of Thl-mediated cellular immune responses [26, 27]. Other reports show that DC exposed to IL-10 can induce Th2 responses [28, 29]. DC are also efficient stimulators of B-cell responses [6], They can enhance proliferation and differentiation of naive and memory B-cells by secretion of IL-12 [30], Furthermore, by turning T-helper cells into IL-4 and IL-5-producing Th2-cells DC indirectly enhance B cell growth and antibody production.

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