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Transpl Immunol. 1996 Jun;4(2):151-7.

Functional expression of minor histocompatibility antigens on human peripheral blood dendritic cells and epidermal Langerhans cells.

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  • 1Department of Immunohematology and Bloodbank, Leiden University Hospital, The Netherlands.


Adequate presentation and cell surface expression of foreign minor histocompatibility antigens (mHag) to allogeneic T cells can lead to graft versus-host disease (GvHD) after HLA matched bone marrow transplantation (BMT). Cells of the dendritic cell (DC) lineage, including epidermal Langerhans cells (LC), are the most potent inducers of primary alloreactive T cell responses in vivo and in vitro. To explore the possible role of peripheral blood DC and of skin derived LC in the induction of alloimmune responses against mHag, we analysed the functional expression of mHag on these professional antigen-presenting cells (APC). To this end, cytotoxic T cell (CTL) clones specific for mHag H-Y and HA-1 to HA-4 were used to demonstrate the presence of these antigens on highly purified DC and LC. Our results demonstrate that, like other cells of the hematopoietic lineage, DC and LC express all the mHag tested for. The functional expression of mHag on these potent APC suggests their involvement in the induction of mHag specific GvH directed T cell responses after allogeneic BMT.

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