Langerhans cells (LCs) play a pivotal role in skin homeostasis, and the heterogeneity of LCs has long been considered. In this study, we have identified two steady-state (LC1 and LC2) and two activated LC subsets in the epidermis of human skin and in LCs derived from CD34 hemopoietic stem cells (HSC-LCs) by utilizing single-cell RNA sequencing and mass cytometry. Analysis of HSC-LCs at multiple time-points during differentiation revealed that EGR1 and Notch signaling were among the top pathways regulating the bifurcation of LC1 and LC2. LC1 were characterized as classical LCs, mainly related to innate immunity and antigen processing. LC2 were similar to monocytes or myeloid dendritic cells, involving in immune responses and leukocyte activation. LC1 remained stable under inflammatory microenvironment, whereas LC2 were prone to being activated and demonstrated elevated expression of immuno-suppressive molecules. We revealed distinct human LC subsets that require different developmental regulation and orchestrate reciprocal functions.
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