• Laura Eaton

    Student thesis: Phd


    Langerhans' cells (LC) are the dendritic cells (DC) of the epidermis and, as sentinels of the immune system, act as a bridge between the innate and adaptive immune responses. When LC, and other DC, recognise an antigen or pathogen they mature and are stimulated to migrate to the lymph nodes, where they orchestrate immune responses. Pathogen derived toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands, and chemical allergens, are recognised as being potentially harmful and stimulate LC to mobilise and mature. Cytokine signals, including tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, interleukin (IL)-1β, and IL-18, all induce LC migration and are required for initiating LC mobilisation in response to certain contact allergens. Subsequently, chemokines promote the migration and localisation of LC within the draining lymph nodes. Chemokines are also involved in shaping the adaptive immune response by promoting differential T cell activation, such as T helper (Th)1 or Th2 responses, which are involved in immunity against different pathogens, and also in the development of different types of chemical allergy. The hypothesis is that LC phenotype (activation, migration and chemokine production), is dependent on the nature of the challenge ligand. The murine LC-like cell line XS106 was used to investigate the response of LC following stimulation with TLR ligands and chemical allergens. In addition, LC migration in response to these stimuli was investigated in vivo and the role of TNF-alpha was examined using mice deficient in either one of the two TNF-alpha receptors; TNF-R1 or TNF-R2.XS106 cells and freshly isolated LC were associated with a selective type 2 immune response, as determined by preferential expression of type 2 associated chemokines. Furthermore, XS106 cells responded to type 2, but not to type 1, associated TLR ligands. In contrast, all of the TLR ligands tested induced the migration of LC from the epidermis in vivo. Similarly, chemical allergens failed to induce a maximal response of XS106 cells, but did induce the migration of LC in vivo. There were differences in LC migration between the two mouse strains tested, with C57/BL6 strain mice being less responsive to administration of TNF-alpha and the contact allergen oxazolone compared with BALB/c strain mice. However, C57/BL6 and BALB/c strain mice responded similarly after exposure to the contact allergen 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB). Furthermore, DNCB was able to induce LC migration in mice deficient in TNF-R2, the TNF-alpha receptor expressed by LC.Collectively, these data suggest a paradigm in which keratinocytes and LC in the epidermis have distinct roles in promoting type 1 and type 2 immune responses, respectively. Therefore, LC may not be activated directly by certain TLR ligands or chemical allergens that are associated with type 1 responses. Consequently the migration of LC in vivo after encounter with these stimuli may be secondary to interaction with keratinocytes, or with other skin resident cells. Together, LC and keratinocytes allow the epidermis to respond to a range of pathogens, in addition to developing the necessary type 1 and type 2 responses. Chemical allergens may have divergent cytokine signalling requirements for the induction of LC migration as, unlike other contact allergens (and other stimuli such as irritant and ultraviolet [UV]B exposure), DNCB may induce LC migration independently of TNF-alpha.
    Date of Award31 Dec 2012
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • The University of Manchester
    SupervisorIan Kimber (Supervisor) & Rebecca Dearman (Supervisor)


    • Dendritic Cell
    • Langerhans Cell

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