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Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2009 Aug;58(8):1329-36. doi: 10.1007/s00262-008-0648-5. Epub 2009 Jan 21.

Type-1 polarized dendritic cells primed for high IL-12 production show enhanced activity as cancer vaccines.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Hillman Cancer Center, University of Pittsburgh, UPCI Research Pavilion, Room 1.46b, 5117 Center Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-1863, USA.


While multiple pathways of dendritic cell (DC) maturation result in transient production of IL-12, fully mature DCs show reduced ability to produce IL-12p70 upon a subsequent interaction with Ag-specific T cells, limiting their in vivo performance as vaccines. Such "DC exhaustion" can be prevented by the presence of IFNgamma during the maturation of human DCs (type-1-polarization), resulting in improved induction of tumor-specific Th1 and CTL responses in vitro. Here, we show that type-1 polarization of mouse DCs strongly enhances their ability to induce CTL responses against a model tumor antigen, OVA, in vivo, promoting the induction of protective immunity against OVA-expressing EG7 lymphoma. Interestingly, in contrast to the human system, the induction of mouse DC1s requires the participation of IL-4, a nominal Th2-inducing cytokine. The current data help to explain the previously reported Th1-driving and anti-tumor activities of IL-4, and demonstrate that type-1 polarization increases in vivo activity of DC-based vaccines.

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