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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Orient Point, New York » Plum Island Animal Disease Center » Foreign Animal Disease Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #216674

Title: Langerhans Cells in Porcine Skin

item Toka, Felix
item Golde, William

Submitted to: Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/9/2008
Publication Date: 12/15/2008
Citation: Nfon, C.K., Toka, F.N., Dawson, H., Golde, W.T. 2008. Langerhans Cells in Porcine Skin. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology. 126:236-247.

Interpretive Summary: Dendritic cells are a critical cell type involved in the response to microbial infections in mammals. In particular, dendritic cells of the skin are constantly exposed to microbes with the potential to cause infection. In humans and some rodents, the most prominent skin dendritic cell responsible for protection against infection is named the Langerhans cell. These cells are characterized by expression of a particular protein called langerin. Expression of langerin by skin dendritic cells of cattle and swine has yet to be reported. In this paper, we describe a series of monoclonal anti-human langerin antibodies that react with the langerin protein in porcine skin DCs. These results allow us to formally designate the skin DCs of swine as Langerhans cells.

Technical Abstract: Langerhans cells (LCs) are resident dendritic cells (DCs) of the skin possessing intracellular Birbeck granules (BGs). Langerin, a surface protein unique to LCs, can be internalized resulting in BG formation. The standard for characterizing DCs as Langerhans cells is expression of the protein, langerin. Previous studies reporting the presence of BGs in porcine skin DCs have been contradictory, with no reported antibody reactivity with langerin. We analyzed a panel of anti-human langerin antibodies for reactivity with porcine skin DCs and show staining of approximately 50-70% of isolated skin DCs, characterized by coexpression of CD1 and langerin in skin sections. Real-time PCR confirmed expression of langerin mRNA in these skin DCs. These data demonstrate that porcine skin DCs express langerin, confirming the presence of LCs in porcine epidermis. These antibodies are important for studying LCs in swine, as well as advancing swine as a model for studying human skin diseases.