Immunohistochemical Findings in Active Vitiligo Including Depigmenting Lesions and Non-Lesional Skin
The cutaneous lymphocyte-associated antigen (CLA), recognized by the monoclonal antibody HECA-452, is a cell surface glycoprotein that binds specifically to E-selectin. CLA is present on most T cells at sites of cutaneous immune response and has been shown to be important in lymphocyte homing to the skin. It is expressed only by a minor subset of peripheral T cells and is absent on thymocytes. We have analysed (using a FACScan flow cytometer) the expression of CLA on human lymph cells derived from normal skin, from ultraviolet (UV)-irradiated skin and from allergic contact dermatitis. Whereas in the peripheral blood CLA was expressed on < 20% of CD4 +, CD8 + and CD56 + cells (natural killer cells), > 60% of CD4 +, CD8 + and CD56 + cells isolated from skin-derived lymph expressed CLA. Furthermore, > 90% of CD1a + dendritic lymph cells were positive for CLA. UV irradiation of the skin and induction of an allergic contact dermatitis did not change CLA expression on lymph cells, although lymph flow and cell output increased. These results provide further evidence for an important role of CLA in cell homing to the skin.