Characterization of cutaneous antigen presentation in partially inbred miniature swine

S. Grabbe, J. M. Fishbein, D. H. Sachs, Thomas J Flotte, R. D. Granstein

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5 Scopus citations


MHC class I and II-defined, partially inbred miniature swine have recently become available as a large animal model in transplantation immunology. To investigate cutaneous immunocompetence in this model, cutaneous antigen presenting cell (APC) function was assessed. For morphologic analysis, punch biopsies were examined by electron microscopy. By this technique, epidermal Langerhans cells bearing typical Birbeck granules could be detected. For functional studies, epidermal cell (EC) suspensions were prepared from split thickness skin specimens. Using FACS analysis, freshly prepared epidermal cell suspensions contained 1.8-4.7% MHC class II-positive cells. These EC potently stimulated allogeneic nylon wool-enriched peripheral blood T cells in the primary mixed EC-lymphocyte reaction. For in vivo assessment of cutaneous APC function, EC suspensions enriched for or depleted of class II-positive EC were generated by panning of class II-positive EC using mouse anti-MHC class II antibodies and anti-mouse IgG-coated petri dishes. EC were then coupled to the hapten trinitrophenol (TNP) and injected s.c. into autologous or MHC-mismatched pigs twice at a one week interval. One week later, pigs were challenged by s.c.-injection of 0.5-1 x 107 TNP-coupled or uncoupled EC. Autologous unseparated EC as well as EC enriched for MHC class II-positive cells were able to sensitize naive animals against TNP, whereas neither TNP-coupled EC depleted of class II-positive APC, MHC-mismatched EC coupled to TNP, nor uncoupled EC induced immunity to TNP. Our data indicate that inbred miniature swine possess competent cutaneous APC which are able to induce cutaneous immunity in a manner similar to Langerhans cells in murine or human skin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-282
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Dermatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • delayed-type hypersensitivity
  • Langerhans cell
  • miniature swine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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