Dendritic cells (DC) are currently implemented as immunotherapeutic strategy for the treatment of tumor patients based on their central role in the immune system. Despite good results were obtained in vitro and in animal models, their clinical use has provided limited success suggesting the requirement to optimise the protocol for their production. Methods: A cDNA array was performed on FastDC obtained from the differentiation of human peripheral blood monocytes stimulated with the clinical gold standard or with two alternative maturation cocktails combining interferon (IFN)γ and ligands for different toll like receptors (TLR). Results: A stronger modulation of the DC transcriptome with respect to immature DC was found in alternatively stimulated DC when compared to DC stimulated with the clinical gold standard. A major class of molecules differentially expressed using distinct DC stimulation protocols were chemokines. Validation of their differential expression pattern at the mRNA and protein level confirmed the secretion of inflammatory chemokines by the alternative DC. Functional analyses of the chemotactic properties of DC "wash out" supernatants highlighted the ability of alternative, but not of gold standard DC to efficiently recruit immune cells with a prevalence of monocytes. Effector cells belonging to the innate as well as adaptive immunity were also attracted and the interaction with alternative DC resulted in enhanced secretion of IFNγ and induction of cytotoxic activity. Using leukocytes from cancer patients, it was demonstrated that the monocyte-attracting activity targeted cells with an inflammatory phenotype characterised by high levels of HLA-DR expression. Conclusions: Despite other classes of immune modulatory genes differently expressed in the alternative DC require to be investigated and characterised regarding their functional consequences, the reduced maturation state and chemoattractive properties of the gold standard versus alternative DC clearly promote the necessity to change the clinically used maturation cocktail of DC in order to improve the outcome of patients treated with DC-based vaccines.
- Innate immunity
- T cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)