Dendritic cells as a new player in arteries and heart valves

Monday, February 16, 2009 - 16:35 in Biology & Nature

Discovered by Ralph M. Steinman in 1973, dendritic cells have been implicated in early immune responses such as graft rejection, resistance to tumors and autoimmune diseases. New research shows that these relatively rare immune cells may play a role in heart disease as well. Experiments show that dendritic cells project their dendrites into the bloodstream, where they can capture foreign invaders and turn them over to T cells for destruction.

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