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Department of Pathology Seminar Series – Associate Professor Merilyn Hibma

Langerhans cell regulation in the skin microenvironment

Our laboratory is studying antigen presenting cell, including Langerhans cell, function in human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and in wound healing.

Langerhans cells are skin-resident macrophages in the epidermis that functionally behave as dendritic cells. HPV type 16 is a skin-infecting virus, infecting the keratinocytes co-located with Langerhans cells.

Importantly, HPV16 regulates Langerhans cells and dendritic cells, suppressing antigen presenting cell function. In vitro experiments show that HPV16 E7 expressing cells shed extracellular vesicles that suppress antigen presenting cell function.

This immune evasion mechanism may contribute to persistent viral infection, which is associated with an increased likelihood of progression of infection to cancer. Surprisingly, depletion of antigen presenting cells from skin negatively regulates wound healing, delaying wound closure.

Langerhans cells therefore are functionally regulated, and are also themselves key regulators in the skin.

Date Friday, 8 November 2019
Time 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Audience All University
Event Category Health Sciences
Event Type Departmental Seminar
DepartmentPathology (Dunedin)
LocationD'ath lecture theatre, Hercus building
Contact NameDr Euan Rodger

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