Innate-adaptive crosstalk: How dendritic cells shape immune responses in the CNS

Benjamin D. Clarkson, Erika Héninger, Melissa G. Harris, Jangeun Lee, Matyas Sandor, Zsuzsanna Fabry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Dendritic cells (DCs) are a heterogeneous group of professional antigen presenting cells that lie in a nexus between innate and adaptive immunity because they recognize and respond to danger signals and subsequently initiate and regulate effector T-cell responses. Initially thought to be absent from the CNS, both plasmacytoid and conventional DCs as well as DC precursors have recently been detected in several CNS compartments where they are seemingly poised for responding to injury and pathogens. Additionally, monocyte-derived DCs rapidly accumulate in the inflamed CNS where they, along with other DC subsets, may function to locally regulate effector T-cells and/or carry antigens to CNS-draining cervical lymph nodes. In this review we highlight recent research showing that (a) distinct inflammatory stimuli differentially recruit DC subsets to the CNS; (b) DC recruitment across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is regulated by adhesion molecules, growth factors, and chemokines; and (c) DCs positively or negatively regulate immune responses in the CNS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCurrent Topics in Innate Immunity II
EditorsJohn Lambris
Number of pages25
StatePublished - 2012

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598


  • Central nervous system
  • Chemokines
  • Conventional (cDC)
  • Dendritic cell (DC)
  • Inflammatory (iDC)
  • Plasmacytoid (pDC)
  • T-cell responses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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