This chapter explores that mammalian epidermis consists of three major cell populations: Keratinocytes, melanocytes, and Langerhans cells. Focus has been on the functional properties of epidermal Langerhans cells, the least well characterized of these three, and in so doing the hypothesis that these dendritic bone marrow derived cells perform critical antigen presenting function in skin has been tested. It discusses that the experimental strategies used for its development have required reliable methods for Langerhans cell identification. These strategies have included enzymatic disaggregation of epidermis, followed by in vitro separation procedures designed to produce cell suspensions which are relatively enriched and relatively depleted of Langerhans cells. Finally, several detection techniques are employed to identify cutaneous sites which are naturally depleted of Langerhans cells and experimental procedures which deplete epidermis of normal Langerhans cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology