Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Exp Med. 2012 Jun 4;209(6):1167-81. doi: 10.1084/jem.20120340. Epub 2012 May 7.

Adult Langerhans cells derive predominantly from embryonic fetal liver monocytes with a minor contribution of yolk sac-derived macrophages.

Author information

Singapore Immunology Network, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Immunos Building #3-4, BIOPOLIS, 138648, Singapore.


Langerhans cells (LCs) are the dendritic cells (DCs) of the epidermis, forming one of the first hematopoietic lines of defense against skin pathogens. In contrast to other DCs, LCs arise from hematopoietic precursors that seed the skin before birth. However, the origin of these embryonic precursors remains unclear. Using in vivo lineage tracing, we identify a first wave of yolk sac (YS)-derived primitive myeloid progenitors that seed the skin before the onset of fetal liver hematopoiesis. YS progenitors migrate to the embryo proper, including the prospective skin, where they give rise to LC precursors, and the brain rudiment, where they give rise to microglial cells. However, in contrast to microglia, which remain of YS origin throughout life, YS-derived LC precursors are largely replaced by fetal liver monocytes during late embryogenesis. Consequently, adult LCs derive predominantly from fetal liver monocyte-derived cells with a minor contribution of YS-derived cells. Altogether, we establish that adult LCs have a dual origin, bridging early embryonic and late fetal myeloid development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center