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BMC Cancer. 2007 Jul 3;7:119.

A full scale comparative study of methods for generation of functional Dendritic cells for use as cancer vaccines.

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Department of Pediatric Research, The National Hospital, Oslo, Norway.



Dendritic cells (DCs) are professional antigen-presenting cells with the ability to induce primary T-cell responses and are commonly produced by culturing monocytes in the presence of IL-4 and GM-CSF for 5-7 days (Standard DC). Recently, Dauer and co-workers presented a modified protocol for differentiation of human monocytes into mature DCs within 48 hours (Fast DC). Here we report a functional comparison of the two strategies for generation of DCs from human monocytes with adaptions for large-scale clinical use.


The Elutra Cell Selection System was used to isolate monocytes after collection of leukapheresis product. The enriched monocytes were cultured in gas permeable Teflon bags with IL-4 and GM-CSF for 24 hours (Fast DC) or 5 days (Standard DC) to obtain immature DCs. The cells were then transfected with mRNA from the leukemia cell line Jurkat E6 by electroporation and incubated for additional 24 h or 2 days in the presence of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNFalpha, IL-1beta, IL-6 and PGE2) to obtain mature DCs.


Mature Fast DC and Standard DC displayed comparable levels of many markers expressed on DC, including HLA-DR, CD83, CD86, CD208 and CCR7. However, compared to Standard DC, mature Fast DC was CD14high CD209low. Fast DC and Standard DC transfected with Jurkat E6-cell mRNA were equally able to elicit T cell specifically recognizing transfected DCs in vitro. IFNgamma-secreting T cells were observed in both the CD4+ and CD8+ subsets.


Our results indicate that mature Fast DC are functional antigen presenting cells (APCs) capable of inducing primary T-cell responses, and suggest that these cells may be valuable for generation of anti-tumor vaccines.

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