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J Leukoc Biol. 2011 Jul;90(1):61-8. doi: 10.1189/jlb.1010581. Epub 2011 Apr 12.

Langerhans cells are not required for epidermal Vgamma3 T cell homeostasis and function.

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  • 1Microbiology and Immunology, Ghent University, De Pintelaan 185, 9000 Ghent, Belgium.


This study tested the hypothesis that Vγ3 TCR-bearing T cells are influenced by LCs. Vγ3 T cells and LCs are located in the epidermis of mice. Vγ3 T cells represent the main T cell population in the skin epithelium and play a crucial role in maintaining the skin integrity, whereas LCs are professional APCs. Although Vγ3 T cells and LCs form an interdigitating network in the epidermis, not much is known about their reciprocal influence and/or interdependence. We used two different LC-deficient mouse models, in which LCs are constitutively or inducibly depleted, to investigate the role of LCs in maturation, homeostasis, and function of Vγ3 T cells. We show that Vγ3 T cell numbers are unaltered by LC deficiency, and Vγ3 T cells isolated from LC-deficient mice are phenotypically and upon in vitro stimulation, functionally indistinguishable from Vγ3 T cells isolated from WT mice based on their cytotoxic potential and cytokine production. Additionally, in vivo skin-wounding experiments show no major difference in response of Vγ3 T cells to wounding in the absence or presence of LCs. These observations indicate that Vγ3 T cells develop and function independently of LCs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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