Cultured BALB/c epidermal Langerhans cells express high levels of the costimulatory molecule B7 on their surfaces relative to levels expressed on fresh Langerhans cells. Quantitation of relative amounts of B7 mRNA in fresh epidermal cells and cultured epidermal cells following amplification of mRNA signals via reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, hybridization of PCR products with radiolabeled internal oligonucleotide probes, resolution of hybrids in non-denaturing polyacrylamide gels, and detection by autoradiography revealed dramatically (approximately one thousandfold) higher levels of B7 mRNA in cultured epidermal cells (10-40% I-A+) as compared with fresh epidermal cells (1-4% I-A+). Levels of B7 mRNA in cultured epidermal cells were also substantially greater than those detected in a reference B lymphoma cell line (CH-1). Analysis of B7 mRNA expression in subpopulations of cultured epidermal cells demonstrated that essentially all of the B7 mRNA was present in Langerhans cells; cells bearing I-A and CD45 antigens. Cultured keratinocytes did not contain appreciable amounts of B7 mRNA. These results are consistent with previous data regarding surface expression of B7 by cLC and also demonstrate that fLC are essentially devoid of B7 mRNA and surface protein.
- accessory cells
- costimulatory molecules