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Immunol Cell Biol. 2001 Feb;79(1):41-8.

Migration of Langerhans cells and gammadelta dendritic cells from UV-B-irradiated sheep skin.

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Department of Pathology, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.


Depletion of dendritic cells from UV-B-irradiated sheep skin was investigated by monitoring migration of these cells towards regional lymph nodes. By creating and cannulating pseudoafferent lymphatic vessels draining a defined region of skin, migrating cells were collected and enumerated throughout the response to UV-B irradiation. In the present study, the effects of exposing sheep flank skin to UV-B radiation clearly demonstrated a dose-dependent increase in the migration of Langerhans cells (LC) from the UV-B-exposed area to the draining lymph node. The range of UV-B doses assessed in this study included 2.7 kJ/m2, a suberythemal dose; 8 kJ/m2, 1 minimal erythemal dose (MED); 20.1 kJ/m2; 40.2 kJ/m2; and 80.4 kJ/m2, 10 MED. The LC were the cells most sensitive to UV-B treatment, with exposure to 8 kJ/m2 or greater reproducibly causing a significant increase in migration. Migration of gammadelta+ dendritic cells (gammadelta+ DC) from irradiated skin was also triggered by exposure to UV-B radiation, but dose dependency was not evident within the range of UV-B doses examined. This, in conjunction with the lack of any consistent correlation between either the timing or magnitude of migration peaks of these two cell types, suggests that different mechanisms govern the egress of LC and gammadelta+ DC from the skin. It is concluded that the depression of normal immune function in the skin after exposure to erythemal doses of UV-B radiation is associated with changes in the migration patterns of epidermal dendritic cells to local lymph nodes.

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