Author(s): Torii H, Yan Z, Hosoi J, Granstein RD
Epidermal Langerhans cells are frequently anatomically associated with calcitonin gene-related peptide-containing nerves. Furthermore, calcitonin gene-related peptide inhibits Langerhans cells antigen-presenting function in several assays. Studies were performed to further explore the hypothesis that Langerhans cells and nerves have a functional relationship. To examine whether Langerhans cells may produce factors that influence nerve cell differentiation, we utilized the Langerhans cell-like cell line XS52 as a surrogate for Langerhans cells and compared it with Langerhans cells enriched to 90%. Supernatants conditioned by lipopolysaccharide-stimulated XS52 cells were able to induce the differentiation of the pheochromocytoma line PC12 into sympathetic neuron-like cells. This was also the case with enriched Langerhans cells stimulated by lipopolysaccharide. Pretreatment of conditioned supernatants with specific neutralizing anti-sera indicated that most of the differentiation-inducing activity was due to interleukin-6 and a small amount was due to nerve growth factor and basic fibroblast growth factor. By reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, three clones of the XS52 cell line, XS52-4D, XS52-11D, and XS52-8B, were found to express mRNA for interleukin-6 and expression was markedly augmented by lipopolysaccharide. mRNA for nerve growth factor and basic fibroblast growth factor was detected in XS52-4D and XS52-11D, but not in XS52-8B. The expression of these neurotrophic factors by enriched Langerhans cells was quite similar to that of XS52-4D. In order to examine whether Langerhans cells may express receptors for nerve-derived peptides, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction was employed to look for pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide type I, type II, and type III, and gastrin-releasing peptide receptors. All clones examined, as well as enriched Langerhans cells, expressed pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide type II and type III, and gastrin-releasing peptide receptors. These results suggest bi-directional signalling between Langerhans cells and nerves; nerve cells may regulate Langerhans cell function by elaboration of certain neuropeptides whereas Langerhans cells may promote the differentation of nerves by elaboration of interleukin-6 and, possibly, other factors.