Mature LC migrate to the skin-draining LN, where they present Ag to CD4 T cells and modulate the adaptive immune response. LC migration is thought to require the direct action of IL-1β and IL-18 on LC. In addition, TLR ligands are present in C. albicans, and hapten sensitization produces endogenous TLR ligands.
Both could contribute to LC activation.
We generated Langerin-Cre MyD88(fl) mice in which LC are insensitive to IL-1 family members and most TLR ligands. LC migration in the steady state, after hapten sensitization and postinfection with C. albicans, was unaffected.
Contact hypersensitivity in Langerin-Cre MyD88(fl) mice was similarly unaffected. Interestingly, in response to C. albicans infection, these mice displayed reduced proliferation of Ag-specific CD4 T cells and defective Th17 subset differentiation.
Surface expression of costimulatory molecules was intact on LC, but expression of IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-23 was reduced. Thus, sensitivity to MyD88-dependent signals is not required for LC migration, but is required for the full activation and function of LC in the setting of fungal infection.