CD1c+ blood dendritic cells have Langerhans cell potential

Blood. 2015 Jan 15;125(3):470-3. doi: 10.1182/blood-2014-08-593582. Epub 2014 Oct 28.


Langerhans cells (LCs) are self-renewing in the steady state but repopulated by myeloid precursors after injury. Human monocytes give rise to langerin-positive cells in vitro, suggesting a potential precursor role. However, differentiation experiments with human lineage-negative cells and CD34(+) progenitors suggest that there is an alternative monocyte-independent pathway of LC differentiation. Recent data in mice also show long-term repopulation of the LC compartment with alternative myeloid precursors. Here we show that, although monocytes are able to express langerin, when cultured with soluble ligands granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), transforming growth factor β (TGFβ), and bone morphogenetic protein 7 (BMP7), CD1c(+) dendritic cells (DCs) become much more LC-like with high langerin, Birbeck granules, EpCAM, and E-cadherin expression under the same conditions. These data highlight a new potential precursor function of CD1c(+) DCs and demonstrate an alternative pathway of LC differentiation that may have relevance in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD / metabolism
  • Antigens, CD1 / metabolism*
  • Blood Cells / cytology*
  • Blood Cells / immunology
  • Blood Cells / metabolism
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 7 / metabolism
  • Cadherins / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology*
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / metabolism
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Langerhans Cells / cytology*
  • Langerhans Cells / immunology
  • Langerhans Cells / metabolism
  • Lectins, C-Type / metabolism
  • Mannose-Binding Lectins / metabolism
  • Monocytes / cytology*
  • Monocytes / immunology
  • Monocytes / metabolism
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism


  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, CD1
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 7
  • CD1C protein, human
  • CD207 protein, human
  • Cadherins
  • Glycoproteins
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • Mannose-Binding Lectins
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor