Langerhans cells are not required for graft-versus-host disease

Hongmei Li, Daniel H. Kaplan, Catherine Matte-Martone, Hung Sheng Tan, Srividhya Venkatesan, Kody Johnson, Anthony J. Demetris, Jennifer McNiff, Mark J. Shlomchik, Warren D. Shlomchik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is initiated and maintained by antigen-presenting cells (APCs) that prime alloreactive donor T cells. APCs are therefore attractive targets for GVHD prevention and treatment. APCs are diverse in phenotype and function, making understanding how APC subsets contribute to GVHD necessary for the development of APC-targeted therapies. Langerhans cells (LCs) have been shown to be sufficient to initiate skin GVHD in a major histocompatibility complex-mismatched model; however, their role when other host APC subsets are intact is unknown. To address this question, we used mice genetically engineered to be deficient in LCs by virtue of expression of diphtheria toxin A under the control of a BAC (bacterial artificial chromosome) transgenic human Langerin locus. Neither CD8- nor CD4-mediated GVHD was diminished in recipients lacking LCs. Similarly, CD8-and CD4-mediated GVHD, including that in the skin, was unaffected if bone marrow came from donors that could not generate LCs, even though donor LCs engrafted in control mice. Engraftment of donor LCs after irradiation in wild-type hosts required donor T cells, with immunofluorescence revealing patches of donor and residual host LCs. Surprisingly, donor LC engraftment in Langerindiphtheria toxin A (DTA) transgenic hosts was independent of donor T cells, suggesting that a Langerin+ cell regulates repopulation of the LC compartment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)697-707
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 13 2011


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