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Epidermodysplasia verruciformis: Langerhans cells, immunologic effect of retinoid treatment and cytogenetics


A case study is presented of a 44-year-old negroid male with epidermodysplasia verruciformis (EV), cutaneous carcinomas, and impaired cell-mediated immunity (CMI), infected with human papillomavirus type 8 and 17. Analysis was made of (a) T6+and HLA-DR+Langerhans cells (LCs) by immunoperoxidase staining in lesional and clinically normal skin before and during retinoid treatment, (b) the effect of retinoid treatment on CMI in vivo and in vitro, and (c) cytogenetic aspects related to chromosomal instability. The results showed the virtual absence of T6+and HLA-DR+LCs in koilocytic areas of epidermis involved with EV. Light-exposed, clinically normal skin also demonstrated microscopic EV lesions largely devoid of T6+and HLA-DR+LCs. Retinoid treatment with etretinate (Ro 10-9359) appeared both to increase the CMI response in vitro to T-cell mitogens and to influence the in situ pattern of T6+and HLA-DR+LCs. The cytogenetic study did not show evidence of spontaneous or UV-induced chromosomal instability.

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Correspondence to P. C. van Voorst Vader.

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van Voorst Vader, P.C., de Jong, M.C.J.M., Blanken, R. et al. Epidermodysplasia verruciformis: Langerhans cells, immunologic effect of retinoid treatment and cytogenetics. Arch Dermatol Res 279, 366–373 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00412621

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Key words

  • Epidermodysplasia verruciformis
  • Cell-mediated immunity
  • Langerhans cells
  • Retinoid treatment
  • Cytogenetics