Dendritic cells of the oral mucosa

A. H. Hovav*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


The oral cavity contains distinct mucosal surfaces, each with its own unique distribution of dendritic cell (DC) subsets. In addition to tissue-specific properties, such organization might confer differential immune outcomes guided by tissue-resident DCs, which translate in the lymph node into an overall immune response. This process is further complicated by continual exposure and colonization of the oral cavity with enormous numbers of diverse microbes, some of which might induce destructive immunity. As a central cell type constantly monitoring changes in oral microbiota and orchestrating T-cell function, oral DCs are of major importance in deciding whether to induce immunity or tolerance. In this review, an overview of the phenotype and distribution of DCs in the oral mucosa is provided. In addition, the role of the various oral DC subsets in inducing immunity vs. tolerance, as well as their involvement in several oral pathologies is discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)27-37
Number of pages11
JournalMucosal Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (grant no. 1418/ 11 to A-HH), the German Israeli Foundation for young investigators (GIF Young), and the Dr. I. Cabakoff Research Endowment Fund at the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Dental Medicine, Jerusalem, Israel.


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