When Ralph Steinman and Zanvil Cohn first described dendritic cells (DCs) in 1973 it took many years to convince the immunology community that these cells were truly distinct from macrophages. Almost four decades later, the DC is regarded as the key initiator of adaptive immune responses; however, distinguishing DCs from macrophages still leads to confusion and debate in the field. Here, Nature Reviews Immunology asks five experts to discuss the issue of heterogeneity in the mononuclear phagocyte system and to give their opinion on the importance of defining these cells for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-460
Number of pages8
JournalNature Reviews Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 2010


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