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J Leukoc Biol. 2005 Aug;78(2):338-44. Epub 2005 Apr 27.

A phagocytic cell line markedly improves survival of infected neutropenic mice.

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Los Angeles Biomedical Institute, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA 90502, USA.


Disseminated candidiasis is a frequent infection in neutropenic patients, in whom it causes 50% mortality, despite antifungal therapy. As the duration of neutropenia is the strongest predictor of survival in neutropenic patients with invasive fungal infections, neutrophil transfusions are a logical, therapeutic option. However, significant technical barriers have prevented the clinical use of neutrophil transfusions. To overcome these barriers, we identified a human phagocytic cell line that could be administered to candidemic hosts in lieu of freshly harvested neutrophils. HL-60 cells killed Candida albicans in vitro. Activation of HL-60 cells with dimethyl sulfoxide and retinoic acid abrogated the cells' proliferation and augmented their killing of C. albicans. Administration of activated HL-60 cells to candidemic, neutropenic mice significantly improved survival (53% vs. 0%). Live HL-60 cells chemotaxed to sites of infection, phagocytized C. albicans, and reduced the fungal burden in key target organs. Although unactivated HL-60 cells also reduced tissue fungal burden in vivo, they did not improve survival as a result of their toxicity in infected mice. In contrast, no toxicity as a result of activated HL-60 cells was observed at up to 2 months of follow-up. To our knowledge, this is the first description of a cell line-based immunotherapy for an infectious disease. With further refinements, activated HL-60 cells have the potential to overcome the technical barriers to neutrophil transfusions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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