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J Transl Med. 2010 Sep 28;8:90. doi: 10.1186/1479-5876-8-90.

Three-day dendritic cells for vaccine development: antigen uptake, processing and presentation.

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German Research Center for Environmental Health, Institute of Molecular Immunology, Marchioninistr, 25, 81377 München, Germany.



Antigen-loaded dendritic cells (DC) are capable of priming naïve T cells and therefore represent an attractive adjuvant for vaccine development in anti-tumor immunotherapy. Numerous protocols have been described to date using different maturation cocktails and time periods for the induction of mature DC (mDC) in vitro. For clinical application, the use of mDC that can be generated in only three days saves on the costs of cytokines needed for large scale vaccine cell production and provides a method to produce cells within a standard work-week schedule in a GMP facility.


In this study, we addressed the properties of antigen uptake, processing and presentation by monocyte-derived DC prepared in three days (3d mDC) compared with conventional DC prepared in seven days (7d mDC), which represent the most common form of DC used for vaccines to date.


Although they showed a reduced capacity for spontaneous antigen uptake, 3d mDC displayed higher capacity for stimulation of T cells after loading with an extended synthetic peptide that requires processing for MHC binding, indicating they were more efficient at antigen processing than 7d DC. We found, however, that 3d DC were less efficient at expressing protein after introduction of in vitro transcribed (ivt)RNA by electroporation, based on published procedures. This deficit was overcome by altering electroporation parameters, which led to improved protein expression and capacity for T cell stimulation using low amounts of ivtRNA.


This new procedure allows 3d mDC to replace 7d mDC for use in DC-based vaccines that utilize long peptides, proteins or ivtRNA as sources of specific antigen.

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