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J Immunol. 1999 Apr 15;162(8):4567-75.

TGF-beta 1 prevents the noncognate maturation of human dendritic Langerhans cells.

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Unité de Recherche Associée 1461, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Unité 429, Paris, France.


TGF-beta 1 is critical for differentiation of epithelial-associated dendritic Langerhans cells (LC). In accordance with the characteristics of in vivo LC, we show that LC obtained from human monocytes in vitro in the presence of TGF-beta 1 1) express almost exclusively intracellular class II Ags, low CD80, and no CD83 and CD86 Ags and 2) down-regulate TNF-RI (p55) and do not produce IL-10 after stimulation, in contrast to dermal dendritic cells and monocyte-derived dendritic cells. Surprisingly, while LC exhibit E-cadherin down-regulation upon exposure to TNF-alpha and IL-1, TGF-beta 1 prevents the final LC maturation in response to TNF-alpha, IL-1, and LPS with respect to Class II CD80, CD86, and CD83 Ag expression, loss of FITC-dextran uptake, production of IL-12, and Ag presentation. In sharp contrast, CD40 ligand cognate signal induces full maturation of LC and is not inhibited by TGF-beta 1. The presence of emigrated immature LCs in human reactive skin-draining lymph nodes provides in vivo evidence that LC migration and final maturation may be differentially regulated. Therefore, due to the effects of TGF-beta 1, inflammatory stimuli may not be sufficient to induce full maturation of LC, thus avoiding potentially harmful immune responses. We conclude that TGF-beta 1 appears to be responsible for both the acquisition of LC phenotype, cytokine production pattern, and prevention of noncognate maturation.

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