Dendritic cell apoptosis in the maintenance of immune tolerance

Min Chen, Yui-Hsi Wang, Yihong Wang, Li Huang, Hector Sandoval, Yong-Jun Liu, Jin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

258 Scopus citations


Apoptosis in the immune system is critical for maintaining self-tolerance and preventing autoimmunity. Nevertheless, inhibiting apoptosis in lymphocytes is not alone sufficient to break self-tolerance, suggesting the involvement of other cell types. We investigated whether apoptosis in dendritic cells (DCs) helps regulate self-tolerance by generating transgenic mice expressing the baculoviral caspase inhibitor, p35, in DCs (DC-p35). DC-p35 mice displayed defective DC apoptosis, resulting in their accumulation and, in turn, chronic lymphocyte activation and systemic autoimmune manifestations. The observation that a defect in DC apoptosis can independently lead to autoimmunity is consistent with a central role for these cells in maintaining immune self-tolerance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1160-4
Number of pages5
JournalScience (New York, N.Y.)
Issue number5764
StatePublished - Feb 24 2006


  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • Apoptosis
  • Autoimmunity
  • B-Lymphocytes
  • Caspase Inhibitors
  • Cell Survival
  • Dendritic Cells
  • Kidney
  • Lung
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Self Tolerance
  • Spleen
  • T-Lymphocytes
  • Viral Proteins
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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