Langerhans cells (LC) are a subset of skin-resident dendritic cells (DC) that reside in the epidermis as immature DC, where they acquire Ag. A key step in the life cycle of LC is their activation into mature DC in response to various stimuli, including epicutaneous sensitization with hapten and skin infection with Candida albicans. Mature LC migrate to the skin-draining LN, where they present Ag to CD4 T cells and modulate the adaptive immune response. LC migration is thought to require the direct action of IL-1β and IL-18 on LC. In addition, TLR ligands are present in C. albicans, and hapten sensitization produces endogenous TLR ligands. Both could contribute to LC activation. We generated Langerin-Cre MyD88 fl mice in which LC are insensitive to IL-1 family members and most TLR ligands. LC migration in the steady state, after hapten sensitization and postinfection with C. albicans, was unaffected. Contact hypersensitivity in Langerin-Cre MyD88 fl mice was similarly unaffected. Interestingly, in response to C. albicans infection, these mice displayed reduced proliferation of Ag-specific CD4 T cells and defective Th17 subset differentiation. Surface expression of costimulatory molecules was intact on LC, but expression of IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-23 was reduced. Thus, sensitivity to MyD88-dependent signals is not required for LC migration, but is required for the full activation and function of LC in the setting of fungal infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy