Epidermal Langerhans' cell induction of immunity against an ultraviolet-induced skin tumour
Langerhans' cells (LC) have been shown experimentally to induce immune responses against many antigens; however, their role in the initiation of anti-tumour immunity has received little attention. This study examined the ability of murine epidermal LC to induce immunity to an ultraviolet radiation (UV)-induced skin tumour. Freshly prepared epidermal cells (EC) were cultured for 2 or 20 hr with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), pulsed with an extract of the UV-13-1 tumour, then used to immunize naive syngeneic mice. Delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) was elicited 10 days after immunization by injection of UV-13-1 tumour cells into the ear pinna, and measured 24 hr later. EC cultured with GM-CSF for 2 hr induced antitumour DTH, as did EC cultured for 20 hr without GM-CSF. Conversely, EC cultured for 2 hr without GM-CSF, or EC cultured for 20 hr with GM-CSF were unable to induce a DTH. Induction of immunity required active presentation of tumour antigens by Ia(+) EC and was tumour specific. Thus Ia(+) epidermal cells are capable of inducing anti-tumour immunity to W-induced skin tumours, but only when they contact antigen in particular states of maturation.