M Cumberbatch

The University of Manchester, Manchester, ENG, United Kingdom

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Publications (96)298.5 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Migration of epidermal Langerhans cells (LCs) in response to the cytokines interleukin (IL)-1β and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α is impaired in uninvolved skin of patients with early-onset psoriasis. To investigate whether this impairment is a reflection of a systemic defect in dendritic cells (DCs), using an established model of monocyte-derived LC-like cells (mLCs). CD14+ monocytes isolated from both patients with psoriasis and healthy control volunteers were cultured in a cytokine cocktail for 5 days to promote their differentiation into mLCs, then stimulated for 24 h with TNF-α, IL-1β (both 100 ng/mL) or medium alone. Cellular surface protein expression was quantified by flow cytometry, and the ability of cells to migrate to media supplemented with C-C motif ligand (CCL)19 was assessed using a Transwell migration assay. The cytokine and chemokine content of supernatants was analysed by cytokine array. CD14+ cells acquired an LC-like phenotype with high expression of CD1a and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II. There were no differences in the expression of activation markers or in the secretion of cytokines by mLCs isolated from patients with psoriasis and those isolated from healthy controls. Moreover, mLCs isolated from both groups displayed comparable ability to migrate in vitro. These data suggest that the failure of LCs to migrate in response to stimulation in patients with psoriasis is not attributable to a systemic defect in DC function, but is rather a reflection of local changes in the epidermal microenvironment.
    Clinical and Experimental Dermatology 09/2011; 37(1):40-7. · 1.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: IL-1β, interleukin-1 beta; LC, Langerhans cell; NN, skin of healthy volunteers; PN, uninvolved skin of patients with psoriasis; TNF-α, tumor necrosis factor-alpha
    Journal of Investigative Dermatology 03/2010; 130(7):1940-1942. · 6.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Contact allergy to environmental xenobiotics is a common and important problem, but it is unclear why some chemicals are potent sensitizers and others weak/nonsensitizers. We explored this by investigating why similar chemicals, 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB) and 2,4-dinitrothiocyanobenzene (DNTB), differ in their ability to induce contact hypersensitivity (CHS). DNCB induced CHS in humans, whereas at similar doses DNTB did not. However, following DNCB sensitization, DNTB elicited CHS in vivo and stimulated DNCB-responsive T cells in vitro, suggesting that differences in response to these compounds lie in the sensitization phase. In contrast to DNCB, DNTB failed to induce emigration of epidermal Langerhans cells in naive individuals. Examination for protein dinitrophenylation in skin revealed that DNCB penetrated into the epidermis, whereas DNTB remained bound to a thiol-rich band within the stratum corneum. DNTB reacted rapidly with reduced glutathione in vitro and was associated with a decrease in the free thiol layer in the stratum corneum, but not in the nucleated epidermis. By contrast, DNCB required GST facilitation to react with gluthathione and, following penetration through the stratum corneum, depleted thiols in the viable epidermis. Chemical depletion of the thiol-rich band or removing it by tape stripping allowed increased penetration of DNTB into the epidermis. Our results suggest that the dissimilar sensitizing potencies of DNCB and DNTB in humans are determined by a previously undescribed outer epidermal biochemical redox barrier, a chemical component of the innate immune defense mechanisms that defend against sensitization by highly reactive environmental chemicals.
    The Journal of Immunology 11/2009; 183(11):7576-84. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    Ian Kimber, Marie Cumberbatch, Rebecca J Dearman
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    ABSTRACT: Since their discovery in 1868, the role of Langerhans cells (LCs) in skin immunity has been researched extensively. Recent data deriving from transgenic animals that are deficient in LCs have begun to challenge the dogma that there is a universal requirement for these cells in the development of skin sensitization. This Commentary addresses relationships between LC mobilization, draining lymph node activation, and skin sensitization using immunomodulators agonistic for a family of sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptors.
    Journal of Investigative Dermatology 09/2009; 129(8):1852-3. · 6.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is considerable interest in the development of in vitro methods for the identification of contact sensitizers, including those that use cultured dendritic cells (DC), key players in cutaneous immune responses. Chemical allergens, such as dinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (DNBS), or skin irritants, such as benzene sulfonic acid (BS), induce modest changes in DC phenotype. In an attempt to increase the sensitivity of DC responses, DC have been co-cultured with chemical and DC activators (toll-like receptor [TLR] ligands). Cells were cultured with DNBS or BS at doses of equivalent cytotoxicity, together with sub-optimal doses of selected TLR ligands (Pam(3)Cys-Ser-(Lys)(4) [PAM], TLR1-2; macrophage-activating lipopeptide-2 [MALP-2], TLR6-2; or flagellin; TLR5). Both chemicals caused a decline in cell viability. DNBS induced a higher proportion of late apoptotic/necrotic cells whereas BS was associated with early apoptotic cells, suggesting different mechanisms of cell death. Some synergy was observed for interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha production for DC co-cultured with BS and MALP-2/PAM. In contrast, there were marked synergistic effects on IL-6 secretion when DC were cultured with DNBS and flagellin. It may be possible to exploit this enhanced sensitivity of flagellin-activated DC for chemical allergen for the development of in vitro skin sensitization assays.
    Toxicology in Vitro 10/2008; 22(8):1927-34. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dendritic cells (DCs) are required for the initiation of primary immune responses. The pattern of Toll-like receptor (TLR) expression on various subsets of these cells has been shown to differ, suggestive of distinct roles in influencing immune responses. We have examined here the responses of immature DCs derived from murine bone marrow (BMDCs) to a range of TLR ligands. BMDCs cultured for 6 days in the presence of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor were stimulated for 24 hr with ligands to TLR1-2 [Pam(3)Cys-Ser-(Lys)(4) (PAM)], TLR2-6 (macrophage-activating lipopeptide-2 (MALP-2); zymosan or peptidoglycan (PG)], TLR3 (polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid), TLR4 [lipopolysaccharide R515 (LPS)], TLR5 (flagellin), TLR7 (polyuridylic acid) and TLR9 [CpG ODN2395 (CpG)]. DC activation was monitored using membrane marker expression and analysis of culture supernatants for cytokine/chemokine release. Ligands to TLR3 and TLR7 failed to activate BMDCs. All other TLR ligands caused elevated expression of membrane markers. PAM, MALP-2 and LPS induced high-level expression of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Treatment with CpG was associated with a preferential type 1 cytokine and chemokine profile. Zymosan and PG were proinflammatory but also skewed towards a type 2 pattern of cytokines and chemokines. In contrast, flagellin did not cause marked secretion by BMDCs of cytokines or chemokines. These data for BMDCs are largely consistent with the reported TLR repertoire of freshly isolated murine Langerhans cells. In addition, murine BMDCs show selective responses to TLR ligands with respect to general activation, with differentiated cytokine patterns suggestive of potential priming for divergent immune responses.
    Immunology 10/2008; 126(4):475-84. · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Psychological stress is believed to exacerbate inflammatory skin disease but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. We investigated the impact of acute social stress--Trier public speaking test--on: epidermal Langerhans' cell (LC) frequency; and cutaneous nerve fiber expression of protein gene product (PGP) 9.5 and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). Thirty-six healthy volunteers each had a pair of baseline 6 mm biopsies taken from sun-protected buttock skin. A second pair of biopsies was taken from contralateral buttock 4 hours (n=5) or 24 hours (n=15) after the Trier stressor. Controls (n=16) did not perform the Trier and had biopsies 24 hours apart. One of each pair of biopsies (baseline; 4 or 24 hours) was processed for counts of epidermal CD1a(+) LC; the other examined for PGP 9.5 and CGRP expression. We observed a significant (P<0.01) 16.4% reduction in epidermal LC frequency 24 hours post-stressor as compared with baseline; there was no significant change from baseline in non-stressed controls. At 24 hours, PGP 9.5 and CGRP were increased (P=0.025) and reduced (P=0.03), respectively, from baseline in the stressed group compared with controls. These data suggest that acute social stress reduces epidermal LC frequency and modulates cutaneous neuropeptide expression thereby supporting the concept of a "brain-skin" axis.
    Journal of Investigative Dermatology 05/2008; 128(5):1273-9. · 6.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Langerhans cells (LC) migrate rapidly from epidermis to lymph node following epicutaneous application of antigen. In this study, we have explored the role of IL-18, a cytokine with structural similarities to IL-1 beta, in murine LC migration and contact hypersensitivity (CHS), which to oxazolone (OX) and 2-4,dinitrofluorobenzene (DNFB) was suppressed significantly in IL-18 knockout (IL-18-/-) mice and could be rescued by local intradermal administration of IL-18 prior to sensitization, suggesting that the defect in these mice was in the afferent phase of CHS. To determine the effect of IL-18 on LC migration, mice were treated topically with OX or DNFB, and remaining LC numbers were assessed. A significant decline in remaining epidermal LC occurred in wild-type (WT) mice but did not occur in IL-18-/- mice. Sodium lauryl sulfate, a nonantigenic LC migratory stimulus, induced equivalent LC migration in IL-18-/- and WT mice. In IL-18-/- mice, IL-1 beta and TNF-alpha were equally able to mobilize LC from epidermis, indicating that migration in response to these cytokines is not dependent on IL-18 and suggesting that IL-18 acts upstream of these cytokines in the initiation of antigen-induced LC migration. Moreover, IL-1 beta but not IL-18 was able to rescue the defective CHS response observed in caspase-1-/- mice, which have no functional IL-1 beta or IL-18. These data indicate that IL-18 is a key proximal mediator of LC migration and CHS, acting upstream of IL-1 beta and TNF-alpha, and may play a central role in regulation of cutaneous immune responses.
    Journal of Leukocyte Biology 03/2008; 83(2):361-7. · 4.57 Impact Factor
  • Toxicology Letters - TOXICOL LETT. 01/2008; 180.
  • Toxicology. 01/2007; 231(2):115-116.
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    ABSTRACT: The regulation of cutaneous immune responses in health and disease is mediated locally by proteins such as cytokines and chemokines. We used a novel approach involving proteomic profiling of fluid drawn from suction blisters to compare and contrast protein expression in normal skin with that in nonlesional skin from a patient with plaque psoriasis. We also examined the impact of exogenous interleukin-1beta, a proinflammatory cytokine, on protein expression in these tissues. Described here are the results of proteomic profiling of 670 proteins from blister fluid, and the identification by differential expression of nine proteins between one volunteer with psoriasis and one normal volunteer. Although the apparent disease association of these nine proteins will require validation using additional volunteers, the identification of candidate protein biomarkers through proteomic analyses of blister fluid represents a promising approach for monitoring the disease activity and efficacy of therapeutic intervention in human skin diseases.
    Clinical and Experimental Dermatology 06/2006; 31(3):445-8. · 1.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have examined whether psoriasis is associated with systemic effects on epidermal Langerhans cell (LC) function and, specifically, the migration of LCs from the skin. Compared with normal skin, the frequency and morphology of epidermal LCs in uninvolved skin from patients with psoriasis was normal. However, mobilization of these cells in response to stimuli that normally induce migration (chemical allergen, tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-alpha], and interleukin-1beta [IL-1beta]) was largely absent, despite the fact that treatment with TNF-alpha and IL-1beta was associated with comparable inflammatory reactions in patients and controls. The failure of LC migration from uninvolved skin was not attributable to altered expression of receptors for IL-1beta or TNF-alpha that are required for mobilization, nor was there an association with induced cutaneous cytokine expression. Although a role for altered dynamics of LC migration/turnover has not been formally excluded, these data reveal a very consistent decrement of LC function in psoriasis that may play a decisive role in disease pathogenesis.
    Journal of Experimental Medicine 05/2006; 203(4):953-60. · 13.21 Impact Factor
  • Marie Cumberbatch, Rebecca J. Dearman, Ian Kimber
    Toxicology. 01/2006; 226(1):44-44.
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    ABSTRACT: The identification of potential skin sensitizing chemicals is a key step in the overall skin safety risk assessment process. Traditionally, predictive testing has been conducted in guinea pigs. More recently, the murine local lymph node assay (LLNA) has become the preferred test method for assessing skin sensitization potential. However, even with the significant animal welfare benefits provided by the LLNA, there is a need to develop non-animal test methods for skin sensitization. Mechanistic understanding of allergic contact dermatitis has increased substantially in recent years. For example, a number of changes are known to occur in epidermal Langerhans cells, the principal antigen-presenting dendritic cell in the skin, as a result of exposure to chemical allergens, including the internalization of surface major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules via endocytosis, the induction of tyrosine phosphorylation, the modulation of cell surface markers, and cytokine expression. The application of this knowledge to the design of predictive in vitro alternative tests provides both unique opportunities and challenges. In this review, we have focused specifically on the impact of chemical exposure on dendritic cells and the potential use of that information in the development of cell-based assays for assessing skin sensitization potential of chemicals in vitro.
    Toxicological Sciences 12/2005; 88(1):4-11. · 4.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A critical event during the development of cutaneous immune responses, including those provoked by contact allergens, is the mobilisation of epidermal Langerhans cells (LC). These cells act as sentinels of the immune system in the skin, responding to a variety of local insults with migration and delivery of potentially foreign signals to draining lymph nodes. Experimental studies have revealed that the regulation of mobilisation and migration of LC display striking similarities in man and mouse. In both species it has been found that the successful induction of migration requires that LC receive (at least) 2 independent cytokine signals; provided by tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin 1beta. In addition, a similar heterogeneity in man and mouse is apparent with regard to the fraction of LC responding rapidly to mobilisation signals, with the same proportion of cells (20%-30%) being stimulated to migrate in each case. Other similarities exist between mice and humans with respect to LC function, including an age-related decrement in both LC frequency and responsiveness to TNF-alpha. Collectively these studies demonstrate that the mouse provides a valuable experimental surrogate for the human skin immune system, particularly with respect to LC biology, and suggest that it is possible to perform extrapolations between species with some confidence.
    Cytokine 11/2005; 32(2):67-70. · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prolonged topical exposure of BALB/c mice to chemical contact and respiratory allergens stimulates, respectively, preferential Th1- and Th2-type responses with respect to serum Ab isotype and cytokine secretion phenotypes displayed by draining lymph node cells. We now report that differential cytokine secretion patterns are induced rapidly in the skin following first exposure to the contact allergen 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB) and the respiratory sensitizer trimellitic anhydride (TMA). TMA induced early expression of IL-10, a cytokine implicated in the negative regulation of Langerhans cell (LC) migration, whereas exposure to DNCB resulted in production of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-1beta. Associated with this, TMA provoked LC migration with delayed kinetics compared with DNCB, and local neutralization of IL-10 caused enhanced LC mobilization in response to TMA with concomitant up-regulation of cutaneous IL-1beta. We hypothesize that these differential epidermal cytokine profiles contribute to the polarization of immune responses to chemical allergens via effects on the phenotype of activated dendritic cells arriving in the draining lymph node. Thus, TMA-exposed dendritic cells that have been conditioned in vivo with IL-10 (a potent inhibitor of the type 1-polarizing cytokine IL-12) are effective APCs for the development of a Th2-type response.
    The Journal of Immunology 08/2005; 175(1):43-50. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Contact allergen-induced migration of epidermal Langerhans cells (LCs) to draining lymph nodes is dependent upon receipt by LCs of at least two cytokine signals provided by tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin (IL)-1beta. It has been reported previously that intradermal injection of healthy human volunteers with homologous TNF-alpha or IL-1beta each induces a significant reduction in LC frequency, as measured in epidermal sheets prepared from 6-mm punch biopsies. In the current experiments, we have compared the frequency of LCs in punch biopsies with those obtained concurrently in epidermal sheets from the roofs of suction blisters isolated from the sun-protected buttock skin of healthy adult volunteers. There was a significant, approximately 30%, reduction in CD1a(+) LC numbers in suction blister roofs compared with punch biopsies. Injection of homologous recombinant IL-1beta, a stimulus that provokes measurable epidermal LC mobilization in punch biopsy sites, failed to provoke further LC migration in suction blister sites. These data suggest that the mechanical trauma to the skin caused by the creation of suction blisters provokes the degree of cutaneous inflammation necessary for LC mobilization. The responsive cells (only a proportion of resident LCs, approximately 30%) have already migrated, thus addition of an exogenous cytokine signal (IL-1beta) is without further effect. It is not possible therefore to measure the regulation of LC mobilization by exogenous cytokines in suction blister roofs. However, this technique provides an opportunity to profile induced changes in the cutaneous cytokine environment, with cytokine expression measured by a multiple cytokine array system. Using this technique, intradermal injection of IL-1beta was found to cause a marked upregulation of proinflammatory cytokines including TNF-alpha, IL-6, IL-8, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) and the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 in fluid from suction blisters raised at the site of injection. In conclusion, the suction blister technique appears to be a powerful tool for measurement of induced changes in cutaneous cytokines.
    Experimental Dermatology 08/2004; 13(7):452-60. · 3.58 Impact Factor
  • British Journal of Dermatology 07/2004; 150(6):1217-8. · 3.76 Impact Factor
  • I Kimber, M Cumberbatch, C J Betts, R J Dearman
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    ABSTRACT: Allergic contact dermatitis is an important occupational and environmental health disease. There is a need, therefore, to identify skin sensitisation hazard, and to assess accurately likely risks to human health. During the past 15 years very significant advances have been made in our understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that serve to initiate and regulate cutaneous immune responses, including the acquisition of skin sensitisation. This has facilitated parallel advances in the identification and characterisation of skin sensitising chemicals and the development of more robust approaches to risk assessment. It is relevant to consider whether advances in immunobiology provide opportunities also for the design of alternative approaches to the toxicological evaluation of skin sensitisation, including the development of in vitro methods. Here we review the potential use of strategies based on analysis of responses induced in Langerhans cells and dendritic cells; professional antigen processing and presenting cells that are known to play pivotal roles during the induction phase of adaptive immune responses.
    Toxicology in Vitro 05/2004; 18(2):195-202. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epidermal Langerhans cells (LC) form part of the wider family of dendritic cells (DC; professional antigen-processing and antigen-presenting cells). LC are considered to serve in the skin as sentinels of the adaptive immune system, surveying the local environment and transporting foreign antigen for presentation to responsive T lymphocytes in regional lymph nodes. As such, LC play pivotal roles in the initiation of cutaneous immune responses, including immune responses to chemical allergens encountered at skin surfaces. Here we explore two aspects of LC function in the context of sensitisation to chemical allergens. The first is consideration of the cytokine and chemokine signals that regulate and counter-regulate the mobilisation and migration of LC from the epidermis to skin-draining lymph nodes following topical sensitisation. The second is examination of the ways in which LC may influence the polarity of induced T lymphocytes, and thereby the quality of immune responses.
    Apmis 08/2003; 111(7-8):797-804. · 2.07 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
298.50 Total Impact Points


  • 2001–2011
    • The University of Manchester
      • • Faculty of Life Sciences
      • • Centre for Dermatology
      Manchester, ENG, United Kingdom
    • University College London
      • Division of Medicine
      London, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 2002–2006
    • Syngenta
      Bâle, Basel-City, Switzerland
  • 2005
    • Procter & Gamble
      Cincinnati, Ohio, United States