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Science. 2003 Sep 26;301(5641):1925-8.

Epidermal viral immunity induced by CD8alpha+ dendritic cells but not by Langerhans cells.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia.


The classical paradigm for dendritic cell function derives from the study of Langerhans cells, which predominate within skin epidermis. After an encounter with foreign agents, Langerhans cells are thought to migrate to draining lymph nodes, where they initiate T cell priming. Contrary to this, we show here that infection of murine epidermis by herpes simplex virus did not result in the priming of virus-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes by Langerhans cells. Rather, the priming response required a distinct CD8alpha+ dendritic cell subset. Thus, the traditional view of Langerhans cells in epidermal immunity needs to be revisited to accommodate a requirement for other dendritic cells in this response.

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