Dendritic cells simplified

"Dendritic cells are messengers. I imagine them blowing loud sirens or ringing bells, alarming all the warriors to prepare for battle."

Dendritic cell
What you need to know about this warrior -

What does a dendritic cell look like?
Dendritic cells have long finger like processes, like the dendrites of nerve cells, which give them their name.

What is the function of a dendritic cell?
They take up particulate matter by phagocytosis and also continually ingest large amounts of the extracellular fluid and its contents by a process known as macropinocytosis.

They degrade the pathogens they take up and present them to T lymphocytes, which activates them and for this reason dendritic cells are also called antigen-presenting cells (APCs).

Dendritic cells form a crucial link between the innate immune response and the adaptive immune response. (Just like the messenger is a link between the border and the military base!)

Did you know?
Dendritic cells express a lot of MHC class II molecules making them very efficient in antigen presentation.

It's like they were born to present antigens!

Related posts:
Which cells have which MHC class?
Why do cells have MHC molecules?
HLA, MHC & CD T cell mnemonic


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