Dictionary > Dendritic cell

Dendritic cell

noun, plural: dendritic cells
A white blood cell that serves as an antigen-presenting cell, and characterized by the presence of dendrites

Dendritic cells are white blood cells morphologically characterized by having branching processes (dendrites). These cells occur in the mammalian immune system. They are primarily involved in antigen presentation, i.e. processing an antigen material and presenting it on the surface of their cell for T cell recognition.

Dendritic cells come from the multipotent hematopoietic stem cells (hemocytoblasts). The hemocytoblasts give rise to the various cellular elements of the blood via a process called hematopoiesis. The hemocytoblasts, in particular, give rise to two major types of progenitor cells: (1) common myeloid progenitor cells (of the myeloid series) and (2) common lymphoid progenitor cells (of the lymphoid series). Based on these lineages, the dendritic cells may be classified as myeloid or lymphoid. A myeloid dendritic cell is the one that originates from the common myeloid progenitor cell. Conversely, a lymphoid dendritic cell originates from the common lymphoid progenitor cell.

In the myeloid series, the monocytes may develop to either a macrophage or a myeloid dendritic cell. Both of them are capable of phagocytosis. However, the myeloid dendritic cell is more involved in antigen-presenting. The lymphoid dendritic cells are represented by the plasmacytoid dendritic cells. They produce and secrete large quantities of type 1 interferons, especially in response to a viral infection.

See also:

Related term(s):

You will also like...

Gene Pool and Speciation
The Gene Pool and Population Genetics

According to Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection, preferable genes are favored by nature in the gene pool, and ..

Ecosystem Succession
Ecosystem Succession

If the balance of nature is left untouched, landscapes can change dramatically over time. A previous ecosystem is supers..

Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand
New Zealand’s Unique Geographical History

Explore why New Zealand has such unique flora and fauna, and learn why long periods of geographical isolation. This less..

Cell Biology
Cell Biology

The cell is defined as the fundamental, functional unit of life. Some organisms are comprised of only one cell whereas o..

Gibberellins and Gibberellic Acid
Gibberellins and Gibberellic Acid

This tutorial describes the role of gibberellin family in plants. Find out the effects of gibberellin on plant growth an..

Still freshwater and plants
Still Freshwater & Plants

Plants in lentic habitats have features not found in terrestrial plants. They acquired these features as they adapt to t..