Goals: Our group is interested in exploring the interface between innate and adaptive immunity. We are studying how dendritic cells (DC) integrate different signals (from microbial products, inflammatory cytokines and T cells) and develop into mature DC capable of eliciting different types of immune responses such as TH1, TH2, CTL, non-effector and regulatory T cells.
Achievements: We described a method to generate in vitro immature DC from human peripheral blood monocytes, which has been extensively used to characterise the DC maturation process. We found that microbial products and activated T cells (through CD40L) induce DC maturation and that during this process antigen capture and presentation, cytokine and chemokine production, costimulatory molecules and cell migration are coordinately regulated. We showed that the nature and kinetics of the maturation stimuli impacts on gene expression, especially IL-12 which impacts on TH1 polarization.