Do the Dendritic cells, Langerhans cells, play a role in GDD?

September 4, 2019

 

Dendritic cells are antigen-presenting cells, originating from the innate immune system (like macrophages) and presenting to T cells (the adaptive immune system) antigens that they encounter, to see if the T cells want to attack them, or leave them alone. In the skin the specialized dendritic cells are called Langerhans cells.

 

It is noteworthy in GDD the the skin is a major organ affected by the disease, and skin changes can occur very rapidly - so sooner than one would expect from a pure cd 34+ circulating fibrocyte process- which is more of a chronic immune system response that is characterized by NSF (which typically originates/manifests at 2 months or later post exposure).

 

So currently I am postulating that Langerhans cells may be part of the multi-cell-type response by the immune system to the arrival of Gd into the realm of the body. It is clear that many cell types can modify their function and even histologic form under specialized circumstances, so it may be that the Langerhans cells take on more of a role than simply antigen presentation.

 

I envisage that the standard Langerhans cell presents antigens to T cells, much like a waiter presents a platter of desserts to diners (the T cells) in a fancy restaurant, but like a villain in a James Bond movie, in the presence of Gd, they carry the tray of desserts, but also hold underneath it an Uzzi machine gun that shoots off cytokines (in the case of Langerhans cells).

 

Richard Semelka MD Consulting 
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