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Clin Immunol. 2000 Feb;94(2):88-98.

Stimulatory and inhibitory differentiation of human myeloid dendritic cells.

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Department of Medicine, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, Connecticut 06030-3210, USA.


Dendritic cells (DCs) play a critical obligate role in presenting antigens to T cells for activation. In the process, upon antigen capture, DCs undergo maturation and become more stimulatory. Human myeloid DCs can be generated from various sources, including blood, bone marrow, and CD34(+) stem cells. As such, plastic-adherent monocytes from circulation have served as a ready source for generating myeloid DCs in culture in granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) for translational research in active specific immunotherapy, especially in cancer, with the belief that they are essentially stimulatory or "immunogenic." Here we show that in vitro cultures of plastic-adherent circulating monocytes in GM-CSF and IL-4 followed by further maturation in interferon-gamma plus bacterial superantigens (DC maturing agents) can give rise to two diametrically opposite types of DCs-one stimulatory and another inhibitory. The stimulatory DCs express higher amounts of costimulatory molecules, synthesize IL-12, and efficiently stimulate naive allogeneic T cells in mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR). The inhibitory DCs, in contrast, express lower concentrations of the critical costimulatory molecules, synthesize large amounts of IL-10, and are nonstimulatory in allogeneic primary MLR. Moreover, while the stimulatory DCs further amplify proliferation of T cells in lectin-driven proliferation assays, the inhibitory DCs totally block T cell proliferation in similar assays, in vitro. Most interestingly, neutralization of the endogenously derived IL-10 with anti-IL-10 antibody in DC cultures repolarizes the inhibitory DCs toward stimulatory phenotype. Accordingly, these observations have important implications in translational research involving myeloid DCs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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