The lymphoepithelial symbiosis (LES) of the human palatine tonsil is composed of spindle- or star-shaped epithelial cells forming a loose meshwork, containing numerous lymphocytes and dendritic cells (DCs). In the present study, we immunohistochemically characterized DCs in the LES (LES-DCs). LES-DCs were phenotypically immature DCs that were S100β+, fascin-, HLA-DR+, CD1a-, CD80-, CD83-, CD86-, and CD123-. The most characteristic feature of LES-DCs was that they contacted many B cells, which were mostly IgM+ IgD+ resting naive B cells. Langerhans cells (LCs) located in the nonsymbiotic squamous epithelium were immature DCs that were S100β+, fascin-, and CD1a+ and did not contact lymphocytes. In contrast to LES-DCs, interdigitating dendritic cells (IDCs) in the T zone were mature DCs that were HLA-DR+, CD1a-, fascin+, CD80+, CD83+, and CD86+ and contacted numerous CD4+ T cells. Two subsets of IDC, S100β+ fascin+ IDC (IDC-1) and S100β- fascin+ IDC (IDC-2), were identified, and the majority of IDCs are IDC-2. In contrast to IDCs, which were distributed in the T-cell area in groups, LES-DCs were distributed along the crypt as if forming a barrier. These findings suggest that LES-DCs are a novel type of DC playing an important role in the induction of humoral immune response against incoming air- or food-borne pathogenic antigens.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology