Oxidation of cell surface thiol groups by contact sensitizers triggers the maturation of dendritic cells

Saori Kagatani, Yoshinori Sasaki, Morihiko Hirota, Masato Mizuashi, Mie Suzuki, Tomoyuki Ohtani, Hiroshi Itagaki, Setsuya Aiba

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31 Citations (Scopus)


p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) has a crucial role in the maturation of dendritic cells (DCs) by sensitizers. Recently, it has been reported that the oxidation of cell surface thiols by an exogenous impermeant thiol oxidizer can phosphorylate p38 MAPK. In this study, we examined whether sensitizers oxidize cell surface thiols of monocyte-derived DCs (MoDCs). When cell surface thiols were quantified by flow cytometry using Alexa fluor maleimide, all the sensitizers that we examined decreased cell surface thiols on MoDCs. To examine the effects of decreased cell surface thiols by sensitizers on DC maturation, we analyzed the effects of an impermeant thiol oxidizer, o-phenanthroline copper complex (CuPhen). The treatment of MoDCs with CuPhen decreased cell surface thiols, phosphorylated p38 MAPK, and induced MoDC maturation, that is, the augmentation of CD83, CD86, HLA-DR, and IL-8 mRNA, as well as the downregulation of aquaporin-3 mRNA. The augmentation of CD86 was significantly suppressed when MoDCs were pretreated with N-acetyl-L-cystein or treated with SB203580. Finally, we showed that epicutaneous application of 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene on mouse skin significantly decreased cell surface thiols of Langerhans cells in vivo. These data suggest that the oxidation of cell surface thiols has some role in triggering DC maturation by sensitizers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-183
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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