- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Langerhans' cells

Related people

Dendritic, dopa-negative clear cells (macrophages) which, with the white bodies (T lymphocytes), are involved in contact dermatitis and for the rejection of skin grafts/transplants. The cells are mainly found in the stratum spinosum/stratum germinativum of the epithelium of the skin, as well as the epithelial tissue of other organs. They process antigen and their presence has also been demonstrated in the mouth and in the lymphatic nodes. They are found in large numbers in histiocytosis X.

Langerhans cell sometimes contains structures called Langerhans/Birbeck granules which are tubulo-vesicular structures with characteristic periodicity on electron microscopy. The function of the granules is unknown.


  • P. Langerhans:
    Über Tastkörperchen und rete Malpighi.
    Archiv für mikroskopische Anatomie, Bonn, 1873, 9: 730.

What is an eponym?

An eponym is a word derived from the name of a person, whether real or fictional. A medical eponym is thus any word related to medicine, whose name is derived from a person.

What is Whonamedit?

Whonamedit.com is a biographical dictionary of medical eponyms. It is our ambition to present a complete survey of all medical phenomena named for a person, with a biography of that person.


Whonamedit? does not give medical advice.
This survey of medical eponyms and the persons behind them is meant as a general interest site only. No information found here must under any circumstances be used for medical purposes, diagnostically, therapeutically or otherwise. If you, or anybody close to you, is affected, or believe to be affected, by any condition mentioned here: see a doctor.