Research ArticleImmunology

Select hyperactivating NLRP3 ligands enhance the TH1- and TH17-inducing potential of human type 2 conventional dendritic cells

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Science Signaling  27 Apr 2021:
Vol. 14, Issue 680, eabe1757
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.abe1757

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Dendritic cells in overdrive

Upon detection of danger signals, such as molecules associated with infectious pathogens, dying cells, or tumor cells, antigen-presenting cells called dendritic cells initiate adaptive immune responses. This response is enhanced through inflammasome signaling that induces cytokine secretion but usually leads to death of the activated cells. Hatscher et al. analyzed human primary DCs from the blood, spleen, and thymus and found that type 2 conventional dendritic cells (cDC2) uniquely did not die after inflammasome-induced cytokine secretion. Instead, these cells entered a “hyperactive” state that enhanced the stimulation of certain T helper cell subsets. The findings suggest that cDC2 could be critical to the efficacy of vaccines and immunotherapies as well as for therapeutically controlling inflammation.

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