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Open Access Short Report

Effects of immunomodulatory drugs on TNF-α and IL-12 production by purified epidermal langerhans cells and peritoneal macrophages

Simone R Campelo1, Moises B da Silva12, José LF Vieira34, Jorge P da Silva14 and Claudio G Salgado12*

Author Affiliations

1 Dermato-Immunology Laboratory, Federal University of Pará, Dr Marcello Candia Reference Unit in Sanitary Dermatology of the State of Pará, Marituba, PA, Brazil

2 Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Pará, Belém, PA, Brazil

3 Toxicology Laboratory, Federal University of Pará, Belém, PA, Brazil

4 Faculty of Pharmacy, Federal University of Pará, Belém, PA, Brazil

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:24  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-24

Published: 28 January 2011

Abstract

Background

Langerhans cells constitute a special subset of immature dendritic cells localized in the epidermis that play a key role in the skin's immune response. The production of cytokines is a key event in both the initiation and the regulation of immune responses, and different drugs can be used to remove or modify their production by DC and, therefore, alter immune responses in a broad spectrum of diseases, mainly in human inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. In the present study, we examined the effects of prednisone, thalidomide, cyclosporine A, and amitriptyline, drugs used in a variety of clinical conditions, on the production of TNF-α, IL-10, and IL-12 by purified epidermal Langerhans cells and peritoneal macrophages in BALB/c mice.

Findings

All drugs inhibited TNF-α production by Langerhans cells after 36 hours of treatment at two different concentrations, while prednisone and thalidomide decreased IL-12 secretion significantly, amitriptyline caused a less pronounced reduction and cyclosporine A had no effect. Additionally, TNF-α and IL-12 production by macrophages decreased, but IL-10 levels were unchanged after all treatments.

Conclusions

Our results demonstrate that these drugs modulate the immune response by regulating pro-inflammatory cytokine production by purified epidermal Langerhans cells and peritoneal macrophages, indicating that these cells are important targets for immunosuppression in various clinical settings.