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Dev Comp Immunol. 1999 Sep;23(6):473-85.

ATPase and MHC class II molecules co-expression in Rana pipiens dendritic cells.

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Departamento de Biología Celular y Tisular, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México DF, Mexico.


Mammalian Langerhans cells are antigen-presenting cells located in different epithelia. These cells have a characteristic ultrastructural pattern, present a plasmatic membrane ATPase activity and constitutively express class II molecules of the major histocompatibility complex. ATPase-positive dendritic cells that are morphologically similar to Langerhans cells have also been found in amphibian epidermis. In order to demonstrate that ATPase-positive dendritic cells of amphibian epidermis express class II molecules and are present in other stratified epithelia, histochemical and immunohistochemical as well as ultrastructural analysis were performed. ATPase-positive dendritic cells and class II-positive dendritic cells were observed in epidermis, nictitant membrane and cornea. In epidermis the number of ATPase-positive dendritic cells was 656+/-186/mm2 while class II-positive dendritic cells was 119+/-45/mm2. Some ATPase-positive dendritic cells showed co-expression of class II molecules. These results suggest the existence of dendritic cell subsets in amphibians as is clearly demonstrated in mammals.

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