Dendritic cells, indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase and acquired immune privilege

Lei Huang, Babak Baban, Burles A. Johnson, Andrew L. Mellor

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Dendritic cells (DCs) are specialized to stimulate T cell immunity. Paradoxically, some DCs suppress T cell responses and activate regulatory T cells. In this review, we focus on a potent counter-regulatory pathway mediated by plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) expressing the immunosuppressive enzyme indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase (IDO). IDO-expressing pDCs inhibit effector T cell responses, activate regulatory T cells, and attenuate pro-inflammatory responses in settings of chronic inflammation that manifest in clinical syndromes, such as infectious, allergic, and autoimmune diseases; cancer; and transplantation. Thus, IDO-expressing pDCs create immune privilege and provide novel opportunities to improve immunotherapy in multiple disease syndromes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-155
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Reviews of Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Dendritic cells
  • Indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase
  • Regulation
  • T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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