Human dendritic cell, SEM

Human dendritic cell, SEM

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Credit: DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Human dendritic cell, coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM). Dendritic cells (also known as histiocytes or Langerhans cells in the epidermis) are part of the human immune system. In the central nervous system dendritic cells are known as microglia, and in the liver as Kupffer cells. Dendritic cells are macrophage cells that are found in the body's tissues. The long extensions (filopodia) seen projecting from the cell help them to move. The dendritic cells recognize and engulf foreign cells and proteins (antigens). Dendritic cells may then act as antigen presenting cells (APCs) that present the digested parts of phagocytosed pathogens to other immune system cells to enhance the immune response. Once activated, the dendritic cells migrate to the lymphoid tissues where they interact with T cells and B cells to initiate and shape the adaptive immune response. Magnification: x930 when shortest axis is printed at 25 millimetres.

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