Grants Awarded

Exploring Coexisting Maternal Microchimeric Cells and Host T-cells in LCH Lesions

Principal Investigators
A.G.S. van Halteren PhD and R. Maarten Egeler MD, PhD
Leiden University Medical Center – Leiden, The Netherlands

Date of Award
December 2009

Amount of Award

Layperson Summary
Langerhans cell histiocytosis is a rare disease with a thus far unknown cause. While some patients need rigorous treatment, others require minimal treatment or no treatment because of spontaneous resolvement of the lesions. These different clinical manifestations support the concept that LCH is a heterogeneous disease. Hence, its onset could be triggered in different ways. LCH lesions contain a mixture of immune cells. One type of lesional cell that has not yet been thoroughly investigated is the T-cell. Given the specific marker expression-profile of lesional T-cells, we suspect that the T-cells are locally activated. Our project aims to investigate whether chimeric cells, i.e. cells naturally obtained from the patient’s mother through pregnancy, are present in LCH lesions. These ‘foreign’ cells could provide a trigger that may initiate the onset of the disease. The results of our study are expected to increase our knowledge on the etiology of LCH.

Twelve Month Report

Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis: Fascinating Dynamics of the Dendritic Cell–Macrophage Lineage