Mouse dendritic epidermal t cells exhibit chemotactic migration toward PAM 212 keratinocyte culture supernatants

Byoung Soo Chung, Paul R. Bergstresser, Akira Takashima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Dendritic epidermal T cells (DETCs) are Thy-1+, CD45+, CD3+, CD4-, CD8-, and T-cell receptor-Vγ3/Vδ1+ leukocytes that reside normally in adult mouse skin. We have demonstrated previously that keratinocytes serve as adhesion substrates for DETCs, and that interleukin 7 (IL-7), which is produced by keratinocytes, serves as a growth factor for DETCs. The present study was conducted to address the mechanisms by which DETCs migrate into the epidermis, reasoning that keratinocytes may also be a source of chemotactic activity. Short-term DETC lines were 35S-labeled and tested for migration toward Parn 212 keratinocyte culture supernatants using a modified Boyden chamber method; cell movement from upper chambers toward test samples in lower chambers was traced by counting radioactivity. DETC displayed rapid (within 60 min) and marked (> 50%) migration toward keratinocyte supernatants. The majority of cells that had migrated into keratinocyte supernatants expressed the Vγ3 T-cell receptor, thus verifying that the migrating cells were DETCs. Addition of keratinocyte supernatants to the upper chambers completely blocked migration, suggesting its chemotactic nature. By contrast, no DETC migration was observed toward 3T3 fibroblast supernatants. Chemotactic activities were 1) produced by Pam 212 cells even in the absence of serum; 2) greater than 12 kD in size; 3) heat and pH labile; 4) trypsin sensitive; and 5) precipitated by 60-100% ammonium sulfate. Several cytokines (e.g., IL-1α and IL-8) failed to mediate DETC migration when added to the lower chambers. Likewise, the same cytokines, when added to the upper chambers, failed to inhibit DETC migration toward Pam 212 supernatants. These results support our hypothesis that keratinocytes facilitate the residence of DETC in epidermis by secreting unique chemotactic factors, by providing adhesion substrates, and by elaborating specific growth factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-376
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1993


  • γδ T cell/locomotion/homing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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