Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 1958650, 12 pages
Review Article

Molecular Mechanisms of Induction of Tolerant and Tolerogenic Intestinal Dendritic Cells in Mice

University of Tübingen, Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, Elfriede-Aulhorn-Strasse 6, 72076 Tübingen, Germany

Received 22 October 2015; Revised 6 January 2016; Accepted 17 January 2016

Academic Editor: Silvia Beatriz Boscardin

Copyright © 2016 Alex Steimle and Julia-Stefanie Frick. 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.


How does the host manage to tolerate its own intestinal microbiota? A simple question leading to complicated answers. In order to maintain balanced immune responses in the intestine, the host immune system must tolerate commensal bacteria in the gut while it has to simultaneously keep the ability to fight pathogens and to clear infections. If this tender equilibrium is disturbed, severe chronic inflammatory reactions can result. Tolerogenic intestinal dendritic cells fulfil a crucial role in balancing immune responses and therefore creating homeostatic conditions and preventing from uncontrolled inflammation. Although several dendritic cell subsets have already been characterized to play a pivotal role in this process, less is known about definite molecular mechanisms of how intestinal dendritic cells are converted into tolerogenic ones. Here we review how gut commensal bacteria interact with intestinal dendritic cells and why this bacteria-host cell interaction is crucial for induction of dendritic cell tolerance in the intestine. Hereby, different commensal bacteria can have distinct effects on the phenotype of intestinal dendritic cells and these effects are mainly mediated by impacting toll-like receptor signalling in dendritic cells.