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J Immunol. 2000 Dec 1;165(11):6278-86.

Enhanced dendritic cell maturation by TNF-alpha or cytidine-phosphate-guanosine DNA drives T cell activation in vitro and therapeutic anti-tumor immune responses in vivo.

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Divisions of. Clinical Pharmacology and Neuroendocrinology, Departments of Medicine and Radiation Therapy, Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Munich, Germany.


Dendritic cells (DC) manipulated ex vivo can induce tumor immunity in experimental murine tumor models. To improve DC-based tumor vaccination, we studied whether DC maturation affects the T cell-activating potential in vitro and the induction of tumor immunity in vivo. Maturation of murine bone marrow-derived DC was induced by GM-CSF plus IL-4 alone or by further addition of TNF-alpha or a cytidine-phosphate-guanosine (CpG)-containing oligonucleotide (ODN-1826), which mimics the immunostimulatory effect of bacterial DNA. Flow cytometric analysis of costimulatory molecules and MHC class II showed that DC maturation was stimulated most by ODN-1826, whereas TNF-alpha had an intermediate effect. The extent of maturation correlated with the secretion of IL-12 and the induction of alloreactive T cell proliferation. In BALB/c mice, s.c. injection of colon carcinoma cells resulted in rapidly growing tumors. In this model, CpG-ODN-stimulated DC cocultured with irradiated tumor cells also induced prophylactic protection most effectively and were therapeutically effective when administered 3 days after tumor challenge. Thus, CpG-ODN-enhanced DC maturation may represent an efficient means to improve clinical tumor vaccination.

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