Langerhans cells represent the first immune cells that sense the entry of external molecules and microorganisms at the epithelial level in the skin. In this pilot case-study, we evaluated Langerhans cells density and progression of epidermal atrophy in permanent spinal cord injury (SCI) patients suffering with either lower motor neuron lesions (LMNSCI) or upper motor neuron lesions (UMNSCI), both submitted to surface electrical stimulation. Skin biopsies harvested from both legs were analyzed before and after 2 years of home-based Functional Electrical Stimulation for denervated degenerating muscles (DDM) delivered at home (h-bFES) by large anatomically shaped surface electrodes placed on the skin of the anterior thigh in the cases of LMNSCI patients or by neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) for innervated muscles in the cases of UMNSCI persons. Using quantitative histology, we analyzed epidermal thickness and flattening and content of Langerhans cells. Linear regression analyses show that epidermal atrophy worsens with increasing years of LMNSCI and that 2 years of skin electrostimulation reverses skin changes, producing a significant recovery of epidermis thickness, but not changes in Langerhans cells density. In UMNSCI, we did not observe any statistically significant changes of the epidermis and of its content of Langerhans cells, but while the epidermal thickness is similar to that of first year-LMNSCI, the content of Langerhans cells is almost twice, suggesting that the LMNSCI induces an early decrease of immunoprotection that lasts at least 10 years. All together, these are original clinically relevant results suggesting a possible immuno-repression in epidermis of the permanently denervated patients.

Trauma of Peripheral Innervation Impairs Content of Epidermal Langerhans Cells

Albertin G.;Ravara B.;Zampieri S.;Guidolin D.;Messina F.;De Caro R.;Alaibac M.;Carraro U.
2022

Abstract

Langerhans cells represent the first immune cells that sense the entry of external molecules and microorganisms at the epithelial level in the skin. In this pilot case-study, we evaluated Langerhans cells density and progression of epidermal atrophy in permanent spinal cord injury (SCI) patients suffering with either lower motor neuron lesions (LMNSCI) or upper motor neuron lesions (UMNSCI), both submitted to surface electrical stimulation. Skin biopsies harvested from both legs were analyzed before and after 2 years of home-based Functional Electrical Stimulation for denervated degenerating muscles (DDM) delivered at home (h-bFES) by large anatomically shaped surface electrodes placed on the skin of the anterior thigh in the cases of LMNSCI patients or by neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) for innervated muscles in the cases of UMNSCI persons. Using quantitative histology, we analyzed epidermal thickness and flattening and content of Langerhans cells. Linear regression analyses show that epidermal atrophy worsens with increasing years of LMNSCI and that 2 years of skin electrostimulation reverses skin changes, producing a significant recovery of epidermis thickness, but not changes in Langerhans cells density. In UMNSCI, we did not observe any statistically significant changes of the epidermis and of its content of Langerhans cells, but while the epidermal thickness is similar to that of first year-LMNSCI, the content of Langerhans cells is almost twice, suggesting that the LMNSCI induces an early decrease of immunoprotection that lasts at least 10 years. All together, these are original clinically relevant results suggesting a possible immuno-repression in epidermis of the permanently denervated patients.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3445207
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