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Journal of Drug Delivery
Volume 2013, Article ID 869718, 22 pages
Review Article

Targeting Antigens to Dendritic Cell Receptors for Vaccine Development

1VA Consulting Services, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
2College of Health and Biomedicine, Victoria University, VIC, Australia
3Institute of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research, Centre for Pathophysiology, Immunology and Infectiology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
4Department of Chemistry, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece

Received 12 December 2012; Accepted 11 July 2013

Academic Editor: Ali Nokhodchi

Copyright © 2013 Vasso Apostolopoulos et al. 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.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are highly specialized antigen presenting cells of the immune system which play a key role in regulating immune responses. Depending on the method of antigen delivery, DCs stimulate immune responses or induce tolerance. As a consequence of the dual function of DCs, DCs are studied in the context of immunotherapy for both cancer and autoimmune diseases. In vaccine development, a major aim is to induce strong, specific T-cell responses. This is achieved by targeting antigen to cell surface molecules on DCs that efficiently channel the antigen into endocytic compartments for loading onto MHC molecules and stimulation of T-cell responses. The most attractive cell surface receptors, expressed on DCs used as targets for antigen delivery for cancer and other diseases, are discussed.