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'Dendritic cells and pluripotency: Unlikely allies in the pursuit of immunotherapy'

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Host: Nick Holmes (

Although the dramatic increase in life expectancy we have witnessed over the past century is arguably one of medicine’s greatest successes, it is also responsible for the rising incidence of chronic and degenerative diseases throughout the developed world.

The properties of pluripotent stem cells (PSC) offer an attractive strategy to address some of the health-care needs that the current trend in aging will inevitably pose. Nevertheless, their use in cell replacement therapy faces many challenges, the greatest of which is undoubtedly their immunogenicity, which threatens to undermine the success of regenerative medicine in the future.

The first half of this seminar will, therefore, investigate the extent of immune privilege displayed by tissues differentiated from PSC and the feasibility of tapping into such properties to secure their long-term survival through the induction of transplantation tolerance. Although the routine application of PSC within a clinical setting still remains a distant goal, their use as a novel source of dendritic cells whose administration to recipients may affect a lasting immunological legacy long after their demise, provides a more realistic prospect.

The second half of this seminar will, therefore, discuss the advantages of using PSC as a source of DC for immunotherapy and the unique properties that make them attractive candidates for downstream clinical applications.

This talk is part of the Immunology in Pathology series.

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