The Langerhans Cell

Wolff, Klaus; Stingl, Georg
June 1983
Journal of Investigative Dermatology;Jun83 Supplement, Vol. 80, p17s
Academic Journal
Langerhans cells are the bone-marrow-derived immune cells of the epidermis; they express Ia antigens and receptors for the Fc portion of IgG and complement components and are required for epidermal-cell-induced antigen-specific, syngeneic and allogeneic T-cell activation and the generation of epidermal-cell-induced cytotoxic T cells. Their presence within the epidermis and functional integrity determine whether topical application of haptens leads to specific sensitization or unresponsiveness, and in skin grafts of only I region disparate donors, they represent the cells responsible for the critical allosensitizing signal. UV radiation abrogates most of Langerhans cell functions in vitro; under certain conditions in vivo, it prevents contact sensitization favoring the development of specific unresponsiveness. UV radiation abrogates antigen-presenting capacities of epidermal cells by interfering both with the processing of antigen by Langerhans cells and the production of the epidermal-cell-derived thymocyte activating factor required for optimal T-cell responses.


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