Changes in Lymphocyte and Langerhans Cell Populations in Allergic and Irritant Contact Dermatitis

James Marks, Richard J. Zaino, Mark F. Bressler, Judith V. Williams

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31 Scopus citations


ABSTRACT: We observed in situ changes in lymphocyte sub‐populations and Langerhans cells during allergic and irritant contact dermatitis using immunohistochemical staining methods with monoclonal antibodies to cell surface antigens. In both types of contact dermatitis, there was a perivascular infiltrate of T lymphocytes, with helper/inducer T cells predominating. B cells were absent, and natural killer cells were absent or sparse. During the course of allergic contact dermatitis, Langerhans cells showed a striking sequential change in location, with the cells first in the epidermis, then perivascularly in the dermis (days 1–14), and returning to the epidermis (days 14–21). In irritant contact dermatitis, the Langerhans cells were initially identified in the epidermis and then appeared diffusely in the dermis (days 1–2). The numbers in the dermis then decreased abruptly (day 4). They were again identified in normal numbers in the epidermis (day 21). The response of Langerhans cells appears to be different between allergic and irritant contact dermatitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-357
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Dermatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dermatology


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