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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 250563, 10 pages
Review Article

Dendritic Cells in the Gut: Interaction with Intestinal Helminths

1Departamento de Microbiología y Parasitología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Avenue Universidad 3000, Colonia Copilco Universidad, México DF 04510, Mexico
2Escuela de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Anáhuac México Norte, Avenue Universidad Anáhuac 46, Huixquilucan, 52786 Estado de México, Mexico

Received 22 August 2009; Revised 30 November 2009; Accepted 18 December 2009

Academic Editor: Luis I. Terrazas

Copyright © 2010 Fela Mendlovic and Ana Flisser. 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.


The mucosal environment in mammals is highly tolerogenic; however, after exposure to pathogens or danger signals, it is able to shift towards an inflammatory response. Dendritic cells (DCs) orchestrate immune responses and are highly responsible, through the secretion of cytokines and expression of surface markers, for the outcome of such immune response. In particular, the DC subsets found in the intestine have specialized functions and interact with different immune as well as nonimmune cells. Intestinal helminths primarily induce Th2 responses where DCs have an important yet not completely understood role. In addition, this cross-talk results in the induction of regulatory T cells (T regs) as a result of the homeostatic mucosal environment. This review highlights the importance of studying the particular relation “helminth-DC-milieu” in view of the significance that each of these factors plays. Elucidating the mechanisms that trigger Th2 responses may provide the understanding of how we might modulate inflammatory processes.