Immunohistochemical study of epidermal Langerhans cells and dermal dendritic cells in benign and malignant skin lesions characterized by a dermal lymphoid infiltrate consisting either of B-cells or T-cells
Virchows Archiv. A, Pathological anatomy and histopathology vol:411 issue:4 pages:337-43
Skin biopsies from 43 patients with a rather dense dermal lymphoid infiltrate of either inflammatory or neoplastic nature have been investigated. We studied the number, distribution and immunophenotype of epidermal Langerhans cells and dermal dendritic cells. As previously reported, differences in epidermal Langerhans cell and dermal dendritic cell numbers between skin biopsies with a B-cell infiltrate and skin biopsies with a T-cell infiltrate were found, dendritic cells being more numerous in the latter. The main finding of this study was an uneven distribution of epidermal Langerhans cells and dermal dendritic cells in skin biopsies with a T-cell infiltrate: in skin lesions with an inflammatory lymphoid infiltrate, small clusters of epidermal and dermal dendritic cells admixed with T-lymphocytes (predominantly T-helper/inducer cells) and small blood vessels were present at areas of exocytosis. In skin lesions with a neoplastic lymphoid infiltrate larger, more loosely arranged aggregates of dendritic cells and T-cells were seen. These cell aggregations composed of activated (inflammatory or neoplastic) T-cells and dendritic cells may represent the cutaneous homologue of the secondary T-nodule in the lymph node. Both types of cell aggregates may correspond to the dendritic cell-T cell clusters observed in in vitro induced immune responses.