Characterization of dermal dendritic cells obtained from normal human skin reveals phenotypic and functionally distinctive subsets.J Immunol. 1993 Dec 01; 151(11):6535-45.JI
The relative contribution of dermal-derived immunocompetent cells to the overall immunologic response in skin has been hampered by the lack of appropriate isolation techniques. In this report, we provide a purification schema that reliably yields highly purified populations of dermal dendritic cells (DDC). These cells are motile, express high levels of class II MHC antigens that decorate their cytoplasmic dendritic processes, and lack numerous B cell, T cell, and natural killer cell antigens. Using a broad panel of 45 different antibodies, an extensive phenotypic analysis was completed, revealing distinctive profiles for subsets of DDC. Despite homogeneous light scatter profile and cytologic appearance, three subsets of DDC could be distinguished by phenotypic and functional criteria. All DDC, but not epidermal Langerhans cells, express factor XIIIa. By triple color cell staining the relative distribution of factor XIIIa positive DDC is as follows: subset 1, 65% to 70% of total DDC express neither CD1a nor CD14; subset 2, 15% to 20% of total DDC express CD1a but not CD14; and subset 3, 10% to 15% of total DDC express CD14 but not CD1a. The CD14-negative subset of DDC were shown to be as potent stimulators of allogeneic mixed lymphocyte reactions as Langerhans cells or blood-derived dendritic cells. However, DDC subsets differed in their ability to support autologous T cell proliferation in response to the mitogenic lectin PHA or bacterial-derived superantigen. In these assays, subsets 1 and 2 were significantly more potent as antigen-presenting cells compared with subset 3. Thus, normal skin contains at least three separate populations of DDC, which have distinctive phenotypic markers and immunologic capabilities.