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Eur J Immunol. 2008 Sep;38(9):2369-76. doi: 10.1002/eji.200838397.

Insights into Langerhans cell function from Langerhans cell ablation models.

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Department of Dermatology and Center for Immunology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.


Langerhans cells (LC) are the principal dendritic cell (DC) population in the epidermis of the skin. Owing to their prominent position at the environmental barrier, LC have long been considered to be prototypic sentinel DC. More recently, the precise role of LC in the initiation and control of cutaneous immune responses has become debatable. To elucidate their contribution to immune regulation in the skin, our laboratories have generated genetically modified mice in which LC can be followed in situ by expression of enhanced green fluorescent protein and can be either inducibly or constitutively depleted in vivo. This review highlights the similarities and differences between these mouse models, discusses the discovery and functional significance of Langerin(+) dermal DC, and examines some recent data that help to shed light on LC function.

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