Document Type


Publication Date



calcium cell level, calcium mobilization, CD86 antigen, immunomodulation, dendritic cell, Langerhans cell, protein expression, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, sequence analysis


These studies were performed to establish whether functional receptors for calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) are present on human dendritic cells (DCs) and to investigate potential immunomodulatory effects of CGRP on DCs other than Langerhans cells. Reverse transcriptase-PCR revealed expression of mRNA for a type 1 CGRP receptor by mature and immature blood- derived DCs. Sequence analysis confirmed the identity of the type 1 CGRP receptor (CGRP-R1). Addition of CGRP (10-7 M) to mature and immature DCs resulted in mobilization of intracellular calcium. Treatment of immature DCs with CGRP (10-7 M), before and after maturation in monocyte-conditioned medium, resulted in decreased cell surface expression of HLA-DR MHC class II and the costimulatory molecule, CD86. Treatment of immature DCs with CGRP (10-7 M) also resulted in decreased expression of CD86, but expression of HLA-DR was unchanged. When CGRP-treated mature DCs were used to stimulate allogeneic T cells, proliferative responses were dampened (~50%), especially at low DC: T cell ratios (1:360). This effect was not observed with CGRP- treated, immature DCs. In contrast, CGRP-treated mature or immature DCs were no less efficient than untreated DCs in driving syngeneic T cell- proliferative responses to staphylococcal enterotoxin B. We conclude that mature and immature DCs express type 1 CGRP receptors and that signaling through these receptors may dampen mature DC-driven T cell proliferation most likely via down-regulation of CD86 and HLA-DR.


Open Access