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Exp Dermatol. 2009 Jan;18(1):78-87. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0625.2008.00800.x. Epub 2008 Oct 22.

Dendritic cell activation by combined exposure to anti-CD40 plus interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-18 efficiently stimulates anti-tumor immunity.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany.


Despite as yet limited clinical effectiveness, dendritic cell (DC)-based immunotherapy remains a promising approach for the treatment of cancer, but requires further improvement in its immunostimulatory effectiveness. Potent anti-tumor immunity often depends on the induction of type 1 (T(H)1) immune responses. Therefore, we combined different DC maturation stimuli that are known to induce T(H)1 immunity [anti-CD40, interleukin (IL)-12, IL-18], with the aim to trigger a T(H)1 driven anti-tumor CTL response. When compared with untreated DC or DC treated with anti-CD40 alone, DC matured with anti-CD40 plus IL-12 and IL-18 expressed significantly more IFN-gamma and IL-12, induced enhanced CD8(+) T-cell proliferation, prolonged synaptic interaction with T cells and increased CD8(+) T-cell-mediated cytotoxicity. To analyse if these DC are able to induce efficient anti-tumor immunity, mice carrying a B16-OVA tumor were treated with tumor antigen (TA)-loaded DC that had been exposed to anti-CD40 or to anti-CD40 plus IL-12 and IL-18. Our data show that anti-CD40 plus IL-12 and IL-18 matured DC are superior to controls in retarding tumor growth. These data indicate that maturation of DC with anti-CD40 plus IL-12 and IL-18 potently stimulates the generation of an anti-tumor immune response and may lead to improved immunotherapeutic capacity of DC vaccination.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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