Originally limited to basophils and mast cells, the spectrum of high affinity IgE receptor (Fc epsilon RI-bearing cells has expanded recently to include Langerhans cells, dermal dendritic cells (DC), monocytes, and eosinophils. As a result of studies on the distribution, structure, and function of Fc epsilon RI on APCs, we discovered a minor nonbasophil, nonmonocyte PBMC population that can bind IgE via Fc epsilon RI. This receptor occurs on the surface of these cells as a multimeric structure containing Fc epsilon RI alpha- and Fc epsilon RI gamma-chains but, unlike its counterpart on basophils, lacking Fc epsilon RI beta. Further experiments revealed that these Fc epsilon RI alpha gamma-expressing cells closely resemble peripheral blood DC by immunophenotype (HLA-DRhigh, HLA-DQhhigh; CD4+, CD11a+, CD32+, CD33+, B7/2 (CD86)+; CD11blow, CD14low, CD40low, CD54low, CD64low) and cell morphology. These features allowed us to isolate Fc epsilon RI-expressing DC from the peripheral blood and to investigate their immunostimulatory properties. We found Fc epsilon RI-positive DC to be efficient stimulators of both primary (allogeneic MLR) and Fc epsilon RI/IgE-dependent, secondary T cell responses at low cell numbers. Thus, Fc epsilon RI-expressing DC may not only amplify established type I allergic immune reactions but, unlike Fc epsilon RI-positive semiprofessional APCs, may be able to prime naive T cells to common and/or cryptic epitopes of IgE-reactive Ags.
American association of immunologists , 1996. Vol. 157, no 2, 607-616 p.
epidermal langerhans cells; antigen presentation; affinity receptor; lymphocytes-b; t-cells; internalization; localization