Author(s): Bali Pulendran, Hua Tang, Santhakumar Manicassamy
A fundamental puzzle in immunology is how the immune system decides what types of immune responses to launch against different stimuli. Although much is known about control of T helper type 1 (TH1) and TH17 responses, the mechanisms that initiate TH2 and T regulatory (Treg) responses remain obscure. Emerging studies suggest a fundamental role for the innate immune system, particularly dendritic cells (DCs), in this process. We review these studies, and suggest that the innate control of TH2 and Treg responses can be viewed as different hierarchies of organization, in which DCs, their innate receptors and signaling networks, and their interactions with other cells and local microenvironments represent different levels of the hierarchy.