The Reticulum-Associated Protein RTN1A Specifically Identifies Human Dendritic Cells

Publication, 2018


M. Gschwandtner, P. Kienzl, P. Tajpara, C. Schuster, G. Stipek, M. Buchberger, M. Mildner, M. Mairhofer, W. Eppel, M. Vierhapper, J. Pammer, R. Koller, A. Elbe-Bürger, E. Tschachler - The Reticulum-Associated Protein RTN1A Specifically Identifies Human Dendritic Cells - JOURNAL OF INVESTIGATIVE DERMATOLOGY, Vol. 138, No. 6, 2018, pp. 1318-1327


RTN1 is an endoplasmic reticulum-associated protein that was initially identified in neuronal tissues. Here we show that the main isoform RTN1A is a marker for dendritic cells. In the skin, HLA-DR+CD1ahighCD207+CD11cweak Langerhans cells were the only cells in the epidermis, and HLA-DR+CD11c+ dendritic cells were the main cells in the dermis, expressing this protein. RTN1A+ dendritic cells were also found in gingiva, trachea, tonsil, thymus, and peripheral blood. During differentiation of MUTZ-3 cells into Langerhans cells, expression of RTN1A mRNA and protein preceded established Langerhans cell markers CD1a and CD207, and RTN1A protein partially co-localized with the endoplasmic reticulum marker protein disulfide isomerase. In line with this observation, we found that RTN1A was expressed by around 80% of Langerhans cell precursors in human embryonic skin. Our findings show that RTN1A is a marker for cells of the dendritic lineage, including Langerhans cells and dermal dendritic cells. This unexpected finding will serve as a starting point for the elucidation of the, until now, elusive functional roles of RTN1A in both the immune and the nervous system.