Human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MoDC) have both histamine H1 and H2 receptors and can induce CD86 expression by histamine. Nevertheless, it has not been reported whether human epidermal Langerhans cells (LC) have histamine receptors or not. In this study, using RT-PCR, we investigated the expression of H1 and H2 receptor mRNA on DC with the features of LC (LC-like DC) that were generated in vitro from peripheral blood monocytes, LC derived from CD34+ hematopoietic progenitor cells, and LC obtained from human epidermis. We compared the histamine-induced CD86 expression among these cells. In contrast to MoDC, LC and LC-like DC did not express H1 or H2 receptors. In addition, they could not augment the CD86 expression by histamine. Interestingly, when transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) was added to the culture of MoDC, the expression of H1 and H2 receptors and the histamine-induced CD86 expression were abrogated in a concentration-dependent fashion. Finally, in the assessment of the cell surface expression of histamine receptors using fluorescence-labeled histamine, histamine could bind to MoDC and dermal dendritic cells obtained from the skin, whereas there was no specific binding of histamine to LC-like DC or LC obtained from the skin. These data suggest that LC do not express either H1 or H2 receptors, mainly because of the effect of TGF-β1. This made a striking contrast with the expression of the functional H1 and H2 receptors on MoDC and dermal dendritic cells.
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