Dendritic cells are powerful antigen-presenting cells of the immune system. Subsets of dendritic cells are distinguished by distinct cell surface markers. These markers are responsible for the differences in dendritic cell subset functions. Studies show that specific types of dendritic cells are associated with the development of inflammatory skin diseases such as psoriasis. The specific dendritic cell associated with the cytotoxic T cell response remains unknown. Therefore, research was conducted that examined human skin dendritic cell populations.
Flow cytometry was performed to analyze cell surface proteins of skin dendritic cells. The results showed that dermal CD1adimCD141- and Langerhans cells (conventional dendritic cells) are heterogeneous and contain different CD5 populations. The researchers determined whether CD5 indicates a specific dendritic cell fate by analyzing its stability on the dendritic cell surface. This was achieved by testing expression stability in cell culture. CD5 remained on the surface of the CD5+ dendritic cells after 6 days of culture. Then, CD5+ and CD5- cells were exposed to a variety of cytokines for 6 days. CD5 still remained on the surface of the CD5+ cells.
Studies of Langerhans cells were conducted to determine if they can activate naïve CD8+ cytotoxic T and CD4+ helper T cell responses. HLA-DR+C-D1ahiCD5 and CD5-
Langerhans cells were cultured with naive T cells, then T cell proliferation was analyzed after 7 days. The CD5+ cells more efficiently induced CD8+ T-cell proliferation when compared to the CD5- cells.
Skin biopsies were taken from involved psoriatic skin and adjacent uninvolved areas from patients with psoriasis in order to determine the involvement of CD5 dendritic cells in this disease. Using flow cytometry, a higher level of CD5+ dendritic cells were observed in the psoriasis skin samples when compared to the uninvolved patient skin. The uninvolved skin also had higher levels of CD5+ than healthy skin. This suggests that CD5+ dendritic cells may be linked to the development of psoriasis and promote T cells inflammatory responses. Altering the function of CD5+ dendritic cells may serve as a viable therapeutic approach to psoriasis and other inflammatory skin diseases.
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Korenfeld, D., Gorvel, L., Munk, A., Man, J., Schaffer, A., & Tung, T. et al. (2017). A type of human skin dendritic cell marked by CD5 is associated with the development of inflammatory skin disease. JCI Insight, 2(18). doi:10.1172/jci.insight.96101