Small. plaque parapsoriasis (SPP) is one of the cutaneous T-cell lymphoprotiferative disorders. The aim of the present study was to show the antigenic profile of a subset of dendritic cells and lymphocytes in SPP in comparison with normal cells to provide data on the role of these two cell types in the pathogenesis of SPP. Skin biopsy specimens of lesions were obtained from 8 patients with SPP. Biopsies of the healthy skin from 9 control individuals were also analyzed. Immunohistochemistry was performed on the frozen tissue sections to reveal binding of anti-HLA Class 11, anti-CD1a, anti-CD4, anti-CD8, anti-CD44, anti-CD45, and anti-CD68 monoclonal antibodies. There was a statistically significant increase in the number of CD1a(+), Langerhans cells (LCs), HLA-DR-immunoreactive and, CD1 a-positive dermal dendritic cells and CD68(+) macrophages in the SPP group (p = 0.008, 0.008, 0.002 and <0.0009, respectively). The number of lymphocytes positive for CD4, CD8 and CD45 was significantly higher than normal in the SPP group (p = 0.015, <0.0009 and <0.0009, respectively). Our study demonstrates that both peptide- and tipid-based antigens are involved in the persistent antigenic exposure in SPP. Dendritic cells play a pivotal. role in SPP by presenting antigens by both LC and dermal dendritic cells via MHC Class 11 and CD1a molecules. The CD68(+) macrophages are thought to be involved in the immune response in this pathology as an antigen-presenting cell. (C) 2007 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.