The Langerhans cell granule is an adsorptive endocytic organelle

M. Takigawa, K. Iwatsuki, M. Yamada, H. Okamoto, S. Imamura

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43 Citations (Scopus)


The role of Langerhans cell granules (LCG) in adsorptive endocytosis was studied by using concanavalin A (Con A) and heterologous anti-epidermal cell serum (AES) as ligands. Isolated epidermal cells were obtained by trypsinization of guinea pig skin fragments and exposed to ferritin-conjugated Con A or AES followed by ferritin-conjugated second antibody at 37°C for various times up to 30 min. Langerhans cells among the treated epidermal cells were observed by electron microscopy. Shortly after the incubation, a few LCG in the cell periphery were filled with ferritin particles in the bulb portion. After prolonged incubation, ferritin-containing LCG increased in number and seemed to move to the juxtanuclear area. The granules were derived from plasma membrane invaginations that collected ferritin particles in a saclike extension at the end. Some of these invaginations were apparently of coated pit origin. The contents in the bulb of LCG seemed to be delivered finally to intracellular degradation compartments. Our findings clearly demonstrate that LCG are an adsorptive endocytic organelle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-15
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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