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J Immunol. 1998 Apr 15;160(8):4067-73.

Regulation of E-cadherin-mediated adhesion in Langerhans cell-like dendritic cells by inflammatory mediators that mobilize Langerhans cells in vivo.

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  • 1Dermatology Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Adhesion of Langerhans cells (LC) to keratinocytes is mediated by E-cadherin. IL-1, TNF-alpha, and LPS mobilize LC from epidermis and presumably attenuate LC-keratinocyte adhesion. To determine whether these mediators modulated LC E-cadherin-dependent adhesion directly, we characterized their effects on LC-like dendritic cells expanded from murine fetal skin (FSDDC). FSDDC were propagated from day 16 C57BL/6 fetal skin and isolated as aggregates (FSDDC-A) in which homophilic adhesion was mediated by E-cadherin. IL-1, TNF-alpha, and LPS induced dissociation of FSDDC-A that began within 4 to 8 h and was complete within 20 h. Anti-IL-1RI mAb inhibited disaggregation caused by IL-1alpha and IL-1beta, but not that induced by TNF-alpha or LPS. Anti-TNF-alpha mAb inhibited the effect of TNF-alpha and LPS, but not that caused by IL-1alpha or IL-1beta. Flow cytometry of FSDDC-A revealed that IL-1, TNF-alpha, and LPS induced increased expression of MHC class II, CD40, and CD86 and decreased E-cadherin expression that was temporally related to dissociation of aggregates. IL-1 and TNF-alpha caused a rapid reduction in FSDDC E-cadherin mRNA levels that preceded the decrease in E-cadherin surface expression. These results demonstrate that cytokines that induce LC emigration in vivo act directly on LC-like cells in vitro, reduce E-cadherin mRNA levels, down-regulate E-cadherin surface expression, and induce a loss of E-cadherin-mediated adhesion.

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