The functional study of DR-positive human epidermal Langerhans cells in mixed cell cultures with allogeneic lymphocytes

Marilyn S. Pollack, Michael Goldenhersh, Jacqueline Chin-Louie, Bijan Safai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Human epidermal Langerhans cells have been known to express DR alloantigens and to possess Fc and C3b receptors characteristic of cells of the monocyte/macrophage lineage. However, while assignment of specific immunological functions, such as stimulation of allogeneic lymphocytes, has been made to guinea pig Langerhans cells, such functional activities had not yet been shown for human Langerhans cells. We now describe evidence that allows assignment of the capacity for primary stimulation of allogeneic lymphocytes to human epidermal Langerhans cells. This evidence includes (1) the observations that lymphocytes from DR-incompatible donors respond much better than lymphocytes from DR-compatible donors to epidermal cell suspensions containing Langerhans cells; (2) that monoclonal anti-DR antisera and allospecific human anti-DR antisera can specifically block this allogeneic stimulation; and (3) that enrichment of epidermal cell fractions for Langerhans cells provides a parallel enhancement of the allogeneic stimulating activity. Significant enrichment was accomplished in these studies by positive selection of epidermal cells forming rosettes with antibody-coated ox red blood cells and subsequent centrifugation on a neutral density gradient of colloidal silica polyvinyl pyrrolidone. Residual allogeneic lymphocyte stimulation by the depleted fraction was due to DR-positive, FC receptor-negative cells which may represent a subpopulation of Langerhans cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-25
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Immunology


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