Functional specializations of human epidermal Langerhans cells and CD14+ dermal dendritic cells

Immunity. 2008 Sep 19;29(3):497-510. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2008.07.013.


Little is known about the functional differences between the human skin myeloid dendritic cell (DC) subsets, epidermal CD207(+) Langerhans cells (LCs) and dermal CD14(+) DCs. We showed that CD14(+) DCs primed CD4(+) T cells into cells that induce naive B cells to switch isotype and become plasma cells. In contrast, LCs preferentially induced the differentiation of CD4(+) T cells secreting T helper 2 (Th2) cell cytokines and were efficient at priming and crosspriming naive CD8(+) T cells. A third DC population, CD14(-)CD207(-)CD1a(+) DC, which resides in the dermis, could activate CD8(+) T cells better than CD14(+) DCs but less efficiently than LCs. Thus, the human skin displays three DC subsets, two of which, i.e., CD14(+) DCs and LCs, display functional specializations, the preferential activation of humoral and cellular immunity, respectively.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Epidermis / immunology
  • Granzymes / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Langerhans Cells / immunology*
  • Langerhans Cells / metabolism
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Skin / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology


  • Cytokines
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors
  • Granzymes

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