Characterization of langerhans cells in epidermal sheets along the body of Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus)

Fausto Quesada-Pascual, Rafael Jimenez-Flores, Adriana Flores-Langarica, Aaron Silva-Sanchez, Juana Calderon-Amador, Rene Mendez-Cruz, Alberto Y Limon-Flores, Sergio Estrada-Parra, Leopoldo Santos-Argumedo, Iris Estrada-Garcia, Leopoldo Flores-Romo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Armadillos are apparently important reservoirs of Mycobacterium leprae and an animal model for human leprosy, whose immune system has been poorly studied. We aimed at characterizing the armadillo's langerhans cells (LC) using epidermal sheets instead of tissue sections, since the latter restrict analysis only to cut-traversed cells. Epidermal sheets by providing an en face view, are particularly convenient to evaluate dendritic morphology (cells are complete), spatial distribution (regular vs. clustered), and frequency (cell number/tissue area). Lack of anti-armadillo antibodies was overcome using LC-restricted ATPase staining, allowing assessment of cell frequency, cell size, and dendrites extension. Average LC frequency in four animals was 528 LC/mm(2), showing a rather uniform non-clustered distribution, which increased towards the animal's head, while cell size increased towards the tail; without overt differences between sexes. The screening of antibodies to human DC (MHC-II, CD 1a, langerin, CD86) in armadillo epidermal sheets, revealed positive cells with prominent dendritic morphology only with MHC-II and CD86. This allowed us to test DC mobilization from epidermis into dermis under topical oxazolone stimulation, a finding that was corroborated using whole skin conventional sections. We hope that the characterization of armadillo's LC will incite studies of leprosy and immunity in this animal model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-9
Number of pages10
JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2008


  • Adenosine Triphosphatases
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Animals
  • Antibodies
  • Antigens, CD38
  • Armadillos
  • Biopsy
  • Cross Reactions
  • Dendritic Cells
  • Epidermis
  • Female
  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Langerhans Cells
  • Male
  • Oxazolone
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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