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Immunity. 2008 Sep 19;29(3):497-510. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2008.07.013.

Functional specializations of human epidermal Langerhans cells and CD14+ dermal dendritic cells.

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  • 1Baylor Institute for Immunology Research and Baylor Research Institute, Dallas, TX 75204, USA.


Little is known about the functional differences between the human skin myeloid dendritic cell (DC) subsets, epidermal CD207(+) Langerhans cells (LCs) and dermal CD14(+) DCs. We showed that CD14(+) DCs primed CD4(+) T cells into cells that induce naive B cells to switch isotype and become plasma cells. In contrast, LCs preferentially induced the differentiation of CD4(+) T cells secreting T helper 2 (Th2) cell cytokines and were efficient at priming and crosspriming naive CD8(+) T cells. A third DC population, CD14(-)CD207(-)CD1a(+) DC, which resides in the dermis, could activate CD8(+) T cells better than CD14(+) DCs but less efficiently than LCs. Thus, the human skin displays three DC subsets, two of which, i.e., CD14(+) DCs and LCs, display functional specializations, the preferential activation of humoral and cellular immunity, respectively.

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