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J Invest Dermatol. 1992 Sep;99(3):331-6.

Cultured human Langerhans cells process and present intact protein antigens.

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Dermatology Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


Epidermal Langerhans cells (LC) undergo profound phenotypic and functional alterations when cultured for 2 to 3 d. To determine whether the in vitro culture of human LC modulates their capacity to process and present intact protein antigens, we compared the ability of freshly isolated LC (fLC) and cultured LC (cLC) to stimulate in vitro T-cell proliferative responses to recall antigens. We found that human fLC and cLC were able to process and present recall antigens to primed T cells, inducing significant proliferative responses. For tetanus toxoid and Candida albicans extract, T-cell proliferative responses at 6 d to antigen-pulsed fLC were slightly greater than responses to antigen-pulsed cLC. For live influenza A virus, the T-cell responses induced by antigen-pulsed cLC were comparable or slightly greater compared with fLC. Allogeneic T-cell proliferation for both LC preparations were also comparable. The exogenous pathway of antigen processing was demonstrated by chloroquine inhibition.

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