Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells Definition

PDCs are a distinct DC subset best characterized in human peripheral blood. These cells produce large amounts of type 1IFN (IFN-a and IFN-P) on recognition of viral infection and thus are important players in the antiviral defense strategy of the immune system (Cella et al. 1999, Siegal et al. 1999).

PDCs were originally described as plasmacytoid T cells or plasmacytoid monocytes (Facchetti et al. 1988) and are identical to the "natural type 1 IFN-producing cell" (Cella et al. 1999, Siegal et al. 1999) described many years ago as a rare CD4+/MHCII+ population (Abb et al. 1983, Chehimi et al. 1989, Fitzgerald-Bocarsly et al. 1993). On maturation, this cell type develops characteristic features of DCs (Cella et al. 1999, Siegal et al. 1999).

There are hints that PDCs may be involved in the pathogenesis of LE (Ronnblom et al. 2001), allergy (Jahnsen et al. 2000), viral infections (Feldman et al. 2001), and cancer (Zou et al. 2001).

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