Cells of cutaneous immunity in Xenopus: Studies during larval development and limb regeneration

Anthony L. Mescher, Wendy L. Wolf, E. Ashley Moseman, Byron Hartman, Clint Harrison, Evelyn Nguyen, Anton W. Neff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The anuran Xenopus laevis is an experimental model for vertebrate development, immunology, and regenerative biology. Using histochemistry and immunohistochemistry (IHC) we examined embryonic, larval, and postmetamorphic Xenopus skin for the presence of dendritic cells (DCs), Langerhans cells (LCs), and dendritic epidermal T cells (DETCs), all components of cutaneous immunity that have been implicated in skin repair and regeneration. Cells expressing three markers for dendritic and Langerhans cells (formalin-resistant ATPase activity, major histocompatibility complex [MHC] class II antigens, and vimentin) and having morphology like that of these cells first appeared during late embryonic stages, becoming abundant by prometamorphosis. Cells positive for these markers were also numerous in the wound epithelia of regenerating hindlimbs at both early and late larval stages. Cells tentatively identified as DETCs were found, beginning at early larval stages, using IHC with antibodies against heterologous CD3ε chain and T-cell receptor δ. Further characterization and work with the putative DCs, LCs, and DETCs demonstrated here will allow not only greater understanding of the amphibian immune system, but also further elucidation of regenerative growth and scarring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-393
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental and Comparative Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007


  • Cutaneous immunity
  • Dendritic cells
  • DETCs
  • Langerhans cells
  • Limb regeneration
  • Scarring
  • Wound healing
  • Xenopus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Immunology

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