Whereas LCs are resident DCs of the epidermis, IDECs are assumed to migrate de novo in the epidermis after chemotactic stimuli (Wollenberg and Bieber 2002). IDECs typically represent 30%-80% of the total epidermal DCs in inflammatory skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and contact dermatitis but are almost absent in lesional skin of patients with LE (Wollenberg et al. 1996,2002). The reduced number of LCs and IDECs in LE may result from an attack of cytotoxic T cells, but the exact cause is unknown.

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