Sci. Signal., 19 January 2010
Setting the ProgramDendritic cells (DCs) are antigen-presenting cells that drive the differentiation of T cells into distinct subsets depending on the invading organism or stimulus. In response to intracellular pathogens, DCs mature and produce the cytokine interleukin-12 (IL-12), which stimulates the differentiation of T helper type 1 (TH1) T cells, whereas in response to extracellular pathogens and allergens, DCs stimulate the differentiation of TH2 cells. IL-4 is the main cytokine that drives TH2-type responses; however, the molecular mechanisms that underlie the plasticity of DCs are still unclear. Arima et al. purified myeloid DCs from human peripheral blood and examined the signaling pathways affected by the cytokine thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), which drives TH2-type responses. TSLP activated a set of signals distinct from those of other stimuli of DCs, such as Toll-like receptor ligands, which trigger TH1-type responses. In particular, TSLP activated the transcription factor STAT6 and distinct nuclear factor B (NF-B) molecules that were required for TH2-type responses, whereas TSLP limited the activation of transcription factors required for the production of IL-12. Thus, the authors suggest that the activation of distinct NF-B molecules by particular stimuli may underlie the functional plasticity of DC responses.
Citation: K. Arima, N. Watanabe, S. Hanabuchi, M. Chang, S.-C. Sun, Y.-J. Liu, Distinct Signal Codes Generate Dendritic Cell Functional Plasticity. Sci. Signal. 3, ra4 (2010).
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