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Dendritic cells (DCs) prime and orchestrate naïve T cell immunity in lymphoid organs, but recent data also highlight the importance of DC-effector T cell interactions in tissues. These studies suggest that effector T cells require a second activating step in situ from tissue DCs to become fully competent for effector functions and/or proliferation and survival. DC stimulation of effector T cells within tissues has evolved as a mechanism to ensure that T cells are activated to their full potential only at the site of ongoing infection. Here, we propose that under conditions of uncontrolled inflammation and release of tissue antigens, the same DC-dependent checkpoint perpetuates a destructive response and immunopathology.

Original publication




Journal article


Trends Immunol

Publication Date





8 - 13


Animals, Dendritic Cells, Humans, Immunologic Memory, Inflammation, Lymphocyte Activation, T-Lymphocytes