Aim - To determine the role of Langerhans cells (LCs) found to bear IgE in patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) by evaluating the surface distribution of these cells in the conjunctival epithelium and epidermis of skin lesions in patients with AD. Methods - The double labelling method was used to evaluate IgE positive cells that were positive for anti-CD1a or anti-CD23 antibody in an epithelial sheet of the conjunctival limbus. Specimens of conjunctiva were obtained from 12 men, six of whom had AD and ocular complications. Five patients without atopic disease served as controls, plus one additional patient with asthma but no AD. A similar study was conducted using epidermal sheets obtained from two patients with AD and from one without AD. Results - The number of CD1a+ cells present in the conjunctival epithelium of the patients with AD significantly exceeded that of the patients without AD. Most CD1a+ cells in the conjunctival epithelium and epidermis from the patients with AD bore IgE on their surfaces. Few such cells from patients without AD bore IgE. No CD23+ cells were found in the patients with or without AD. Conclusions - The presence of an increased number of LCs bearing IgE on their surfaces in the conjunctival epithelium of patients with AD suggests that these cells may be involved in eliciting the hypersensitivity reaction and participate in ocular inflammation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience