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Front Immunol. 2019 Jun 19;10:1251. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.01251. eCollection 2019.

MAP7 and MUCL1 Are Biomarkers of Vitamin D3-Induced Tolerogenic Dendritic Cells in Multiple Sclerosis Patients.

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Division of Immunology, LCMN, Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital and Research Institute, Barcelona, Spain.
Department of Cellular Biology, Physiology and Immunology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain.
Multiple Sclerosis Unit, Department of Neurosciences, Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain.
Department of Medicine, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain.
Department of Immunopathology, Sanquin Research, and Landsteiner Laboratory, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands.


The administration of autologous tolerogenic dendritic cells (tolDC) has become a promising alternative for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS). Specifically, the use of vitamin D3 for the generation of tolDC (vitD3-tolDC) constitutes one of the most widely studied approaches, as it has evidenced significant immune regulatory properties, both in vitro and in vivo. In this article, we generated human vitD3-tolDC from monocytes from healthy donors and MS patients, characterized in both cases by a semi-mature phenotype, secretion of IL-10 and inhibition of allogeneic lymphocyte proliferation. Additionally, we studied their transcriptomic profile and selected a number of differentially expressed genes compared to control mature and immature dendritic cells for their analysis. Among them, qPCR results validated CYP24A1, MAP7 and MUCL1 genes as biomarkers of vitD3-tolDC in both healthy donors and MS patients. Furthermore, we constructed a network of protein interactions based on the literature, which manifested that MAP7 and MUCL1 genes are both closely connected between them and involved in immune-related functions. In conclusion, this study evidences that MAP7 and MUCL1 constitute robust and potentially functional biomarkers of the generation of vitD3-tolDC, opening the window for their use as quality controls in clinical trials for MS.


biomarkers; immune tolerance; multiple sclerosis; tolerogenic dendritic cells; vitamin D3

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