Special Viewpoints

Sensing Pathogens and Tuning Immune Responses

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Science  13 Jul 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5528, pp. 253-256
DOI: 10.1126/science.1062060

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The immune system is capable of making qualitatively distinct responses against different microbial infections, and recent advances are starting to reveal how it manages this complex task. An integral component of the immune system is a network of cells known as dendritic cells (DCs), which sense different microbial stimuli and convey this information to lymphocytes. A better understanding of DC biology has allowed a model to be constructed in which the type of immune response to an infection is viewed as a function of several determinants, including the subpopulation of DCs, the nature of the microbe, microbe recognition receptors, and the cytokine microenvironment.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: balip{at}baylordallas.edu

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