Regulation of Langerhans cell functions in a hypoxic environment

Daniele Pierobon, Federica Raggi, Irene Cambieri, Simone Pelassa, Sergio Occhipinti, Paola Cappello, Francesco Novelli, Tiziana Musso, Alessandra Eva, Carlotta Castagnoli, Luigi Varesio, Mirella Giovarelli, Maria Carla Bosco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: Langerhans cells (LCs) are a specialized dendritic cell subset that resides in the epidermis and mucosal epithelia and is critical for the orchestration of skin immunity. Recent evidence suggest that LCs are involved in aberrant wound healing and in the development of hypertrophic scars and chronic wounds, which are characterized by a hypoxic environment. Understanding LCs biology under hypoxia may, thus, lead to the identification of novel pathogenetic mechanisms of wound repair disorders and open new therapeutic opportunities to improve wound healing. In this study, we characterize a previously unrecognized role for hypoxia in significantly affecting the phenotype and functional properties of human monocyte-derived LCs, impairing their ability to stimulate naive T cell responses, and identify the triggering receptor expressed on myeloid (TREM)-1, a member of the Ig immunoregulatory receptor family, as a new hypoxia-inducible gene in LCs and an activator of their proinflammatory and Th1-polarizing functions in a hypoxic environment. Furthermore, we provide the first evidence of TREM-1 expression in vivo in LCs infiltrating hypoxic areas of active hypertrophic scars and decubitous ulcers, pointing to a potential pathogenic role of this molecule in wound repair disorders. Key messages: Hypoxia modulates surface molecule expression and cytokine profile in Langerhans cells.Hypoxia impairs human Langerhans cell stimulatory activity on naive T cells.Hypoxia selectively induces TREM-1 expression in human Langerhans cells.TREM-1 engagement stimulates Langerhans cell inflammatory and Th1-polarizing activity.TREM-1 is expressed in vivo in Langerhans cells infiltrating hypoxic skin lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Molecular Medicine
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Mar 10 2016


  • Hypoxia
  • Immunoregulatory receptors
  • Langerhans cells
  • Wounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery
  • Genetics(clinical)


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