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Dendritic cells (DC) are bone marrow derived leucocytes that are part of the mononuclear phagocytic system. They are the surveillance cells of the body, found in all tissues and, as specialised antigen presenting cells, they direct immune responses. DC interact with the environment through membrane molecules. The membrane molecules form a landscape that defines DC as leucocytes, shows that DC are part of the mononuclear phagocytic system, interacts with the environment and directs interactions with other cells. This review describes the DC surface landscape, reflecting on all the different molecules confirmed to be on their surface. Understanding the molecules on the cell surface is providing strategies to translate the profound functions of DC into new diagnostics and immune therapies for the clinic.