Role of cytokines in epidermal Langerhans cell migration

J Leukoc Biol. 1999 Jul;66(1):33-9. doi: 10.1002/jlb.66.1.33.


In the epidermal compartment of skin, keratinocytes (KC), Langerhans cells (LC), and their soluble products, i.e. cytokines, constitute a unique immunologic microenvironment. KC participate in cutaneous immune responses by producing various cytokines. LC, a member of the dendritic cell (DC) family, represent the professional antigen-presenting cells in the epidermis. Although it has been demonstrated that migration of LC from skin to lymph nodes is a critical step for the antigen presentation, molecular mechanisms for such an event remain unclear. Recent studies suggest that cytokines are able to modulate LC/DC migration. There is accumulating evidence that proinflammatory cytokines including interleukin (IL)-1 and tumor necrosis factor alpha promote LC emigration from the skin, whereas the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 is a counter-regulator. LC/DC express chemokine receptors. Chemokines generated from lymphatic endothelial cells and lymph node cells play a role in the directional migration of LC/DC into lymph nodes. This article reviews current studies on the role of cytokines in LC/DC migration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement*
  • Chemokines / metabolism
  • Cytokines / physiology*
  • Epidermal Cells
  • Humans
  • Langerhans Cells / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout


  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines