The Role of Tolerogenic Dendritic Cell Therapy in Autoimmune Diseases

Document Type : Review Article


1 MSc Student, Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Immunology, School of Medicine AND Department of Applied Cell Sciences, School of Advanced Technologies in Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Assistant Professor, Basic and Molecular Epidemiology of Gastrointestinal Disorders Research Center, Research Institute for Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Dendritic cells (DCs) are special antigen-presenting cells that are important for activation of immune response and tolerance. Dendritic cells have been divided in two subtypes of conventional and plasmacytoid dendritic cells. Autoimmune diseases are characterized by break down in immune tolerance. Current therapeutic approaches for treatment of autoimmune diseases are based on nonspecific agents. These agents often cause serious side effects. By advances in understanding phenotype and function of dendritic cells, several protocols have been described for in-vitro generation of tolerogenic dendritic cells (tolDCs). Tolerogenic dendritic cells play an important role in maintenance of immunological tolerance via anergy, generation of regulatory T lymphocyte population, or deletion of autoreactive T cells. Important insight gain from in-vitro studies and animal models have led to the development of clinical use of tolerogenic dendritic cells for treating autoimmune diseases. In this review, we describe the different agents and mechanisms for generating tolerogenic dendritic cells, and applying them for induction of specific tolerance and suppressing autoimmune response in animal models and clinical trials. At the end of this review, we discuss the challenge faced in further developing of tolerogenic dendritic cell therapy in autoimmunity.


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