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J Invest Dermatol. 1994 Aug;103(2):217-20.

Antigen-bearing Langerhans cells in skin draining lymph nodes: phenotype and kinetics of migration.

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Department of Cell Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Application of the fluorescent contact sensitizer Rhodamin B on mouse epidermis was used to study the migration kinetics of Langerhans cells into the draining lymph nodes. The expression of the dendritic cell markers NLDC-145 and MIDC-8 was followed over time to determine the correlation between these markers and Langerhans cell migration. In contrast with its high expression on intraepidermal Langerhans cells, the expression of NLDC-145 on dendritic cells in the draining lymph node was low at 24 h but increased at later times; in contrast, MIDC-8 expression on dendritic cells decreased. Ten days after Rhodamin B application, antigen-bearing Langerhans cells were still present in the epidermis; application of another unrelated contact sensitizer to the epidermis at this time did not lead to migration of these residual Langerhans cells. These results indicate that not all antigen-bearing Langerhans cells migrate from the skin after application of a contact sensitizer, indicating that signals in addition to simple antigen binding are necessary for migration. During this migration from epidermis to lymph nodes Langerhans cells undergo phenotypic changes. The decreased expression of the endosomal antigens MIDC-8 and MOMA-2 correlates with differentiation from predominantly antigen-processing cells to predominantly antigen-presenting cells. The reduced expression of NLDC-145 is discussed in light of a Langerhans cell-independent pathway of antigen transportation from skin to lymph node.

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