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Korean J Physiol Pharmacol. 2012 Aug;16(4):243-7. doi: 10.4196/kjpp.2012.16.4.243. Epub 2012 Aug 10.

Morphologic evidence of anti-tumor specificity of T cells activated by denritic cells derived from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of thyroid cancer patients.

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Department of Pharmacology, Kosin University College of Medicine, Busan 602-703, Korea.


Recent studies suggest that immunization with autologous dendritic cells (DCs) results in protective immunity and rejection of established tumors in various human malignancies. The purpose of this study is to determine whether DCs are generated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMNs) by using cytokines such as F1t-3 ligand (FL), granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), IL-4, and TNF-α, and whether cytotoxic T cells activated against the thyroid cancer tissues by the DCs. Peripheral blood was obtained from 2 patients with thyroid cancer. DCs were established from PBMNs by culturing in the presence of FL, GM-CSF, IL-4, and TNF-α for 14 days. At day 14, the differentiated DCs was analyzed morphologically. The immunophenotypic features of DCs such as CDla, CD83, and CD86 were analyzed by immunofluorelescence microscopy. At day 18, DCs and T cells were incubated with thyroid cancer tissues or normal thyroid tissues for additional 4 days, respectively. DCs generated from the PBMNs showed the typical morphology of DCs. Activated cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) were observed also. DCs and the CTLs were attached to the cancer tissues on scanning electron microscope. The DCs activated the CTLs, which able to specifically attack the thyroid cancer. This study provides morphologic evidence that the coculture of T cells/cancer tissues activated the T cells and differentiated CTLs. The CTLs tightly adhered to cancer tissues and lysed cancer tissues vigorously. Therefore DCs could be used as potential vaccines in the immunotherapy.


Anti-tumor specificity; Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs); Dendritic cells; Immunotherapy; Thyroid cancer

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