Expression of PGP9.5 on Langerhans' Cells and Their Precursors
Hind Hamzeh, Alain Gaudillère, Odile Sabido, Isabelle Tchou, Claude Lambert, Daniel Schmitt, Christian Genin, Laurent Misery
Langerhans' cells are epidermal dendritic cells, derived from blood precursors. Their main function is antigen presentation to T-cells. They are able to express neuronal proteins, such as neuronspecific enolase or substance P-receptor. They are closely associated with nerve fibres. PGP9.5 is the most specific neuronal protein in the epidermis. Epidermal Langerhans' cells can express PGP9.5 if denervated. Using flow cytometry, we found that cultured CD34+ precursors did not express PGP9.5, whereas suspensions of fresh or cultured Langerhans' cells could express this neuronal protein. Precursors of Langerhans' cells are not able to express PGP9.5, suggesting that they are not mature enough or that the capacity to express PGP9.5 may be acquired only in the epidermis. The function of PGP9.5 on Langerhans' cells and mature dendritic cells remains unknown. PGP9.5 might be related to dendritic cell maturation or to the lack of contacts with nerve endings.