12:00noon Monday 8 July
Room 208, 2nd floor,
720 Cumberland Street
Associate Professor Marilyn Hibma
Department of Pathology, University of Otago
Langerhans cell regulation in the skin microenvironment
Our laboratory is studying 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. This immune evasion mechanism may contribute to persistent viral infection, which is associated with an increased likelihood of progression of infection to cancer. Surprisingly, Langerhans cells negatively regulate wound healing, delaying wound closure. Langerhans cells therefore are functionally regulated, and are also themselves key regulators in the skin.