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J Mol Histol. 2013 Apr;44(2):213-20. doi: 10.1007/s10735-012-9475-2. Epub 2012 Dec 21.

Expression and anatomical distribution of TIM-containing molecules in Langerhans cell sarcoma.

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Institute of Immunology, PLA, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, People's Republic of China.


Signals from the T cell immunoglobulin and mucin-domain (TIM)-containing molecules have been demonstrated to be involved in regulating the progress of carcinoma. However, the expression and anatomical distribution of TIMs in Langerhans cell sarcoma (LCS), which is a rare malignancy derived from dendritic cells of the epidermis, has yet to be determined. In this study, the expression of TIM-1, TIM-3 and TIM-4 in LCS samples were detected by immunohistochemistry. Our results showed that these three molecules were found in LCS sections. At the cellular level, these molecules were found on the cell membrane and in the cytoplasm. Immunofluorescence double-staining demonstrated that these TIMs were co-expressed with Langerin, a potential biomarker for detecting LCS. In addition, TIM-1 was also expressed on CD68(+) macrophages and CK-18(+) epithelial cells, while TIM-3 and TIM-4 were expressed on all cell types investigated, including CD3(+)T cells, CD68(+) macrophages, CD11c(+) dendritic cells, CD16(+) NK Cells, CD31(+) endothelial cells and CK-18(+) epithelial cells. Interestingly, TIMs were also co-expressed with some members of the B7 superfamily, including B7-H1, B7-H3 and B7-H4 on sarcoma cells. Our results clearly showed the characteristic expression and anatomical distribution of TIMs in LCS, and a clear understanding of their functional roles may further elucidate the pathogenesis of this carcinoma and potentially contribute to the development of novel immunotherapeutic strategies.

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