Epidermal Langerhans cells in the opossum, Trichosurus vulpecula

Epidermal Langerhans cells in the opossum, Trichosurus vulpecula
Peer reviewed


Langerhans cells (LC) are dendritic cells of bone marrow origin found above the basal cell layer of the epidermis and in mucous membranes. They are the only epidermal cells that have Fc and C3b receptors and express class II histocompatibility structures. These features suggest that LC are the epidermal equivalent of macrophages but the relationship between these two types of cells is uncertain. LC are involved in the induction of contact hypersensitivity [CHS], their density determining whether CHS or immunological tolerance follows skin painting with haptens. We previously reported a failure to induce CHS in opossums (Trichosurus vulpecula). Because of the involvement of LC in the development of CHS we looked for these cells in skin from the flanks of guinea pigs, in which CHS is readily induced, and opossums in order to establish their relative densities in…

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