However, in the context of both major histocompatibility complex

However,
studies of DCs have been greatly hampered by their low frequency in blood and
tissue and by lack of specific DC markers. Nonetheless, several laboratories
persisted with their investigation leading to the current acceptance that DCs
represent discrete leukocyte populations that arise from CD34+ progenitors in
the bone marrow and exhibit typical functions of professional antigen
presenting cells (412, 413). Along with B cells and mononuclear phagocytes
these cells are capable of highly efficiently present antigens to the immune
system in the context of both major histocompatibility complex class I and
class II molecules. What makes DCs stand out from other professional APCs,
however, is their seemingly unique ability to present antigen to T lymphocytes
which have had no previous contact with antigen and induce primary immune
responses, i.e., activate immunologically naive T cells (414). This gives DCs a
central role in the initiation of immune responses and creates possibilities for
their use in the development of therapeutic strategies against tumors and other
diseases.

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