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J Leukoc Biol. 2004 Sep;76(3):616-22. Epub 2004 Jun 3.

Human epidermal Langerhans cells differ from monocyte-derived Langerhans cells in CD80 expression and in secretion of IL-12 after CD40 cross-linking.

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Institute of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Free University of Berlin, Arnimallee 22, D-14195 Berlin, Germany.


Langerhans cells (LCs) represent an immature population of myeloid dendritic cells (DCs). As a result of their unique Birbeck granules (BGs), langerin expression, and heterogeneous maturation process, they differ from other immature DCs. Monocyte-derived LCs (MoLCs) mimic epidermal LCs. MoLCs with characteristic BGs are generated by culturing blood-derived monocytes with granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor, interleukin (IL)-4, and transforming growth factor-beta1. Here, we compare maturation-induced antigen expression and cytokine release of LCs with MoLCs. To achieve comparable cell populations, LCs and MoLCs were isolated by CD1c cell sorting, resulting in high purity. In unstimulated cells, CD40 was expressed at equal levels. After stimulation with CD40 ligand (CD40L), LCs and MoLCs acquired CD83 and increased CD86. High CD80 expression was exclusively detected in CD1c-sorted MoLCs. Human leukocyte antigen-DR and CD54 expression was found in all cell populations, however, at different intensities. CD40 triggering increased the potency of LCs and MoLCs to stimulate CD4+ T cell proliferation. Activated MoLCs released IL-12p70 and simultaneously, anti-inflammatory IL-10. The application of the Toll-like receptor ligands peptidoglycan, flagellin, and in particular, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) increased the corelease of these cytokines. LCs secreted IL-10 at a comparable level with MoLCs but failed to produce high amounts of IL-12p70 after application of danger signals. These data indicate that MoLCs as well as LCs display no maturation arrest concerning CD83 and CD86 expression. In difference to MoLCs, LCs resisted activation by CD40L and LPS in terms of IL-12 production. This shows that natural and generated LCs share similar features but differ in relevant functions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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