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Cancer Res. 2004 Sep 1;64(17):5934-7.

alpha-type-1 polarized dendritic cells: a novel immunization tool with optimized CTL-inducing activity.

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Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213-1863, USA.


Using the principle of functional polarization of dendritic cells (DCs), we have developed a novel protocol to generate human DCs combining the three features critical for the induction of type-1 immunity: (a) fully mature status; (b) responsiveness to secondary lymphoid organ chemokines; and (c) high interleukin-12p70 (IL-12p70)-producing ability. We show that IFN-alpha and polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (p-I:C) synergize with the "classical" type-1-polarizing cytokine cocktail [tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha)/IL-1beta/IFNgamma], allowing for serum-free generation of fully mature type-1-polarized DCs (DC1). Such "alpha-type-1-polarized DC(s)" (alphaDC1) show high migratory responses to the CCR7 ligand, 6C-kine but produce much higher levels of IL-12p70 as compared to TNFalpha/IL-1beta/IL-6/prostaglandin E2 (PGE2)-matured DCs (sDC), the current "gold standard" in DC-based cancer vaccination. A single round of in vitro sensitization with alphaDC1 (versus sDCs) induces up to 40-fold higher numbers of long-lived CTLs against melanoma-associated antigens: MART-1, gp100, and tyrosinase. Serum-free generation of alphaDC1 allows, for the first time, the clinical application of DCs that combine the key three features important for their efficacy as anticancer vaccines.

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