Dendritic Cell

Overview
Function
  • Dendritic Cells are present at baseline throughout the body's tissues and can be recruited following inflammation. These cells are highly phagocytic and ingest cellular debris and any microbes present. Phagocytosed material is degraded as the Dendritic Cell migrates to local lymph nodes and the degraded peptides are presented on MHC II, thus initiating the Adaptive Immune Response. In doing so, Dendritic Cells are Antigen Presenting Cells and are likely the primary and most important cells which serve in this capacity.
Development
  • Dendritic Cells are derived from circulating monocytes which adhere to the vasculature and egress into tissues after which they can undergo differentiation into Dendritic Cells. The development of monocytes is described in more detail in Hematopoiesis.
Subtypes
  • Dendritic Cells of the skin possess their own unique moniker, Langerhans Cells.
Morphology
  • Dendritic Cells possess un-lobulated nuclei, justifying their classification as Mononuclear Cells. Because only small numbers of Dendritic Cells exist at any given location, these cells are normally detected with specialized immunohistochemical techniques. The monicker Dendritic Cell was given to these cells due to their long dendritic cellular processes.