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J Dent Res. 2003 Sep;82(9):736-41.

Multiple dendritic cell (DC) subpopulations in human gingiva and association of mature DCs with CD4+ T-cells in situ.

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  • 1Department of Periodontics, 110 Rockland Hall, School of Dental Medicine, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794-8703, USA.


Gingival epithelium is a site of active trafficking of Langerhans cells (LCs), while the lamina propria in chronic periodontitis (CP) contains CD83+ mature dendritic cells (mDCs) and CD4+ T-cells. The immune cells that contribute to the mDCs, and whether mDCs engage with T-cells in situ, are unclear. Using several immunohistochemical approaches, combined with fluorescence-, light-, and scanning laser confocal-microscopy, we show that, in addition to LCs, the gingiva contains dermal DCs (DDCs) in the lamina propria; moreover, DDCs increase in number during CP. Furthermore, DDCs, LCs, and B-cells co-express CD83 in CP and contribute to the mDC pool. Double-staining for CD83 and CD4 revealed that mDCs associate with clusters of CD4+ T-cells in the lamina propria. Analysis of these data suggests that multiple DC subsets mature in the gingiva and that mature DCs engage in antigen presentation with T-cells in chronic periodontitis.

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