α6 Integrins are Required for Langerhans Cell Migration

  • A. A. Price
  • M. Cumberbatch
  • I. Kimber
  • A. Ager
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 417)


Topical exposure of mice to contact allergens is associated with the migration of Langerhans cells (LC) from the epidermis and their accumulation as immunostimulatory dendritic cells (DC) in draining lymph nodes.1 The movement of LC through the skin and across the basement membrane will undoubtedly be dependent upon their expression of appropriate adhesion molecules necessary for interactions with other cells and with extracellular matrices. Several adhesion molecules, the altered expression of which are associated with the activation or migration of LC, have been implicated in this process.2 Thus, for instance, it has been found that the membrane expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1, CD54) is upregulated markedly during LC migration such that the DC which accumulate in draining lymph nodes display a 40-fold increase in expression of this molecule compared with LC resident in the epidermis.3 It has been shown that in mice treated with anti-ICAM-1 antibody the accumulation of DC in draining lymph nodes is significantly inhibited.4 E-cadherin, a homotypic adhesion molecule expressed by both LC and keratinocytes may also be important. It has been proposed that this molecule serves to retain LC within the epidermis, the inference being that a prerequisite for migration is the reduced expression of E-cadherin by one or other cell type.5,6 Certainly, it has been reported that, compared with LC in the epidermis, the DC found within lymph nodes express significantly less E-cadherin.7


Drain Lymph Node Skin Explants Topical Exposure Very Late Antigen Auricular Lymph Node 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. A. Price
    • 1
  • M. Cumberbatch
    • 2
  • I. Kimber
    • 2
  • A. Ager
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute for Medical ResearchLondonUK
  2. 2.Zeneca Central Toxicology LaboratoryMacclesfield CheshireUK

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