Author(s): Gallucci S, Lolkema M, Matzinger P
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Abstract Dendritic cells, the most potent antigen-presenting cells, need to be activated before they can function to initiate an immune response. We report here that, in the absence of any foreign substances, dendritic cells can be activated by endogenous signals received from cells that are stressed, virally infected or killed necrotically, but not by healthy cells or those dying apoptotically. Injected in vivo with an antigen, the endogenous activating substances can function as natural adjuvants to stimulate a primary immune response, and they may represent the natural initiators of transplant rejection, spontaneous tumor rejection, and some forms of autoimmunity.
This article was published in Nat Med
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pharmacology