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J Oral Pathol Med. 1995 Feb;24(2):56-60.

Antigen presenting capacity of Langerhans cells from rat oral epithelium.

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Department of Endodontology and Oral Diagnosis, University of Göteborg, Sweden.


The ability of Langerhans cells (LC) from rat oral mucosa to internalize and process antigens and to participate in the induction of T cell mitogenesis was examined. To purify LC from epithelial cells, monoclonal anti-class II antibodies and immunomagnetic beads were employed. Suspensions of epithelial cells, containing LC, were found to be effective in mediating a Con A-induced T cell proliferation. Depletion of class II molecule-expressing LC reduced the proliferation of T cells by 80%. Presentation of ovalbumin (OA) to primed T cells was found to be dependent on the concentration of OA and the number of LC. Partially purified LC were five times as effective in inducing proliferation of primed T cells as the untreated suspension of epithelial cells. The data suggest that LC obtained from rat oral mucosa can generate accessory signals, process antigens and serve as antigen-presenting cells.

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