Langerhans cells in the skin and oral mucosa: Brothers in arms?

Anna Brand, Avi Hai Hovav, Björn E. Clausen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The skin and the oral mucosa represent interfaces to the environment that are constantly exposed to pathogens and harmless foreign antigens such as commensal bacteria. Both barrier organs share the presence of Langerhans cells (LC), distinctive members of the heterogeneous family of antigen-presenting dendritic cells (DC) that have the unique ability to promote tolerogenic as well as inflammatory immune responses. While skin LC have been extensively studied in the past decades, less is known about the function of oral mucosal LC. Despite similar transcriptomic signatures, skin and oral mucosal LC differ greatly in their ontogeny and development. In this review article, we will summarize the current knowledge on LC subsets in the skin compared to the oral mucosa. We will discuss the similarities and differences in their development, homeostasis, and function in the two barrier tissues, including their interaction with the local microbiota. In addition, this review will update recent advances on the role of LC in inflammatory skin and oral mucosal diseases.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number2149499
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. European Journal of Immunology published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.


  • Immune regulation
  • Langerhans cells
  • Ontogeny
  • Oral epithelium
  • Skin epidermis


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