Identification and expression of mouse Langerin (CD207) in dendritic cells

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CD40 ligand, CD8 antigen, bone marrow cell, dendritic cell, genetic transcription, intestine lymphatic tissue, lung parenchyma


We have cloned the mouse homologue of human Langerin (h-Langerin), a type II transmembrane protein with a single external C-type lectin domain. Mouse Langerin (m-Langerin) displays 65 and 74% homologies in total amino acid and lectin domains with those of h-Langerin. The cognate mouse and rat genes were assigned to chromosome 6D1-D2 and chromosome 4q33 distal-q34.1 proximal respectively, syntenic to the h-Langerin gene on chromosome 2p13. With RT-PCR, m-Langerin transcripts were as expected detected in MHC class II+, but not MHC class II-, cells from epidermis and the expression level was reduced by culture. However, m-Langerin transcripts were also expressed in spleen, lymph nodes (LN), thymus, liver, lung and even heart, but not gut-associated lymphoid tissues. In single-cell lymphoid suspensions, m-Langerin transcripts were mainly detected in the CD11c+ dendritic cells (DC), especially the CD11blow/CD8high fraction of spleen and LN. DC generated from bone marrow precursors by granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) expressed m-Langerin, but this was shut down during maturation with CD40 ligand or lipopolysaccharide. DC derived from blood monocytes by GM-CSF + IL-4 lacked m-Langerin unless the cultures were supplemented with transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1. Unexpectedly, significant amounts of m-Langerin transcripts were detected in skin and LN of TGF-β1-deficient mice, although in much lower amounts than littermate controls. Recombinant m-Langerin could form multimers and bind to mannan-agarose. These findings indicate that Langerin expression is regulated at several levels: by TGF-β1, DC subsets, DC maturation and the tissue.


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