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Journal of Allergy
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 936870, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/936870
Review Article

Dendritic Cells, Viruses, and the Development of Atopic Disease

Section of Allergy and Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, MACC Fund Research Center, Medical College of Wisconsin, Room 5064, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA

Received 14 June 2012; Accepted 17 September 2012

Academic Editor: Brian Oliver

Copyright © 2012 Jonathan S. Tam and Mitchell H. Grayson. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Dendritic cells are important residents of the lung environment. They have been associated with asthma and other inflammatory diseases of the airways. In addition to their antigen-presenting functions, dendritic cells have the ability to modulate the lung environment to promote atopic disease. While it has long been known that respiratory viral infections associate with the development and exacerbation of atopic diseases, the exact mechanisms have been unclear. Recent studies have begun to show the critical importance of the dendritic cell in this process. This paper focuses on these data demonstrating how different populations of dendritic cells are capable of bridging the adaptive and innate immune systems, ultimately leading to the translation of viral illness into atopic disease.