Low dose ultraviolet B-irradiated Langerhans cells preferentially activate CD4+ cells of the T helper 2 subset

Jan C. Simon, Ponciano D Cruz, Paul R. Bergstresser, Robert E. Tigelaar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


UVB radiation distorts the Ag-presenting function of epidermal Langerhans cells (LC); this has been shown for the presentation of soluble Ag to primed T cells in vitro and for the initiation of delayed-type hypersensitivity in vivo, such as contact hypersensitivity (CH). Previous work has also demonstrated UVB-induced suppression of CH to be mediated ultimately by T cells. Two subsets of CD4+ Th cells, Th1 and Th2, have been identified, based on their cytokine production and functional activities. In particular, Th1 mediate delayed-type hypersensitivity, whereas Th2 do not. To investigate whether the perturbation of LC function induced by UVB radiation leads to a differential activation of these subsets of CD4+ cells, we examined the capacity of unirradiated and irradiated (200 J/m2) APC from adult BALB/c mice to present keyhole limpet hemocyanin to Ag-specific, H2(d)-restricted Th1 and Th2 cell lines. Four sources of APC were utilized: epidermal cells (EC), flow microfluorometry-purified Ia+ EC (LC), flow microfluorometry- purified Ia- EC, and splenic adherent cells (SAC). Unirradiated EC, LC, and SAC, but not Ia-EC, presented keyhole limpet hemocyanin to both Th1 and Th2. Irradiated EC and LC lost their ability to stimulate Th1, but retained fully their capacity to stimulate Th2. On the other hand, irradiated SAC were unable to induce proliferation of either Th1 or Th2. These findings indicate that suppression of CH mediated by UVB-irradiated LC may result from an alteration of the ratio and/or activity of Th1 and Th2 cells normally generated during the induction of such responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2087-2091
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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