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Increased AXL high myeloid cells as pathognomonic marker in Langerhans cell histiocytosis and Langerin expression dependence of mTOR inhibition.

Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) is characterized by an expansion and accumulation of pathological histiocytes expressing langerin (CD207) and CD1a in different organs under an inflammatory milieu. The origin of pathognomonic precursors of LCH is widely debated, but monocytes and pre dendritic cells (pre-DC) play significant role. Remarkable we found an expansion of AXLhigh cells in the CD11c+ subset of patients with active LCH, which also express the pathognomonic CD207 and CD1a. Moreover, we obtained a monocyte-derived LC-like (mo-LC-like) expressing high levels of AXL when treated with inflammatory cytokine, or plasma of patients with active disease. Intriguingly, inhibiting mTOR pathway at the initial stages of monocyte differentiation to LC-like, fosters the pathognomonic LCH program highly increasing CD207 levels, together with NOTCH1 induction. We define here that AXLhigh could also be taken as a strong pathognomonic marker for LCH, and the release of Langerin and NOTCH1 expression depends on the inhibition of the mTOR pathway.

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