DCs are specialized APCs that orchestrate innate and adaptive immune responses. The intestinal mucosa contains numerous DCs, which induce either protective immunity to infectious agents or tolerance to innocuous antigens, including food and commensal bacteria. Several subsets of mucosal DCs have been described that display unique functions, dictated in part by the local microenvironment. In this review, we summarize the distinct subtypes of DCs and their distribution in the gut; examine how DC dysfunction contributes to intestinal disease development, including inflammatory bowel disease and celiac disease; and discuss manipulation of DCs for therapy.
Maria Rescigno, Antonio Di Sabatino