Gene expression profiling and functional activity of human dendritic cells induced with IFN-α-2b: Implications for cancer immunotherapy

Federica Moschella, Brygida Bisikirska, Antonella Maffei, Kyriakos P. Papadopoulos, Donna Skerrett, Zhuoru Liu, Charles S. Hesdorffer, Paul E. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Purpose: In this study, we have compared patterns of gene expression and functional activity of human dendritic cells (DCs) cultured under defined conditions in IFN-α-2b and recombinant human granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (DCA) with cells grown in granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor and IL-4 (DC4) as an initial step in evaluating the clinical utility of DCA in cancer immunotherapy. Experimental Design and Results: Comparison of mRNA transcript profiles between DCA and DC4 revealed different expression patterns for cytokines, chemokines, chemokine receptors, costimulatory molecules, and adhesion proteins. Many genes involved in antigen (Ag) processing were equally expressed in both populations; however, expression of transcripts involved in Ag presentation was increased in DCA. DCA also showed up-regulation of Toll-like receptor 2 and 3, as well as several tumor necrosis factor family ligands. Consistent with expression profiling, functional assays demonstrated that DCAs were more potent stimulators of naive T-cell responses than DC4 in an interleukin 15 and interleukin 1β-dependent manner. DCA-mediated tumor cell-directed cytotoxicity induced apoptosis in different human tumor cell lines and internalized apoptotic bodies to a greater extent than DC4. Lastly, in vitro priming experiments, using apoptotic cells or peptide as sources of Ag, showed that DCA drove the expansion of tumor peptide Ag-specific autologous CD8+ T cells to a greater extent than DC4. Conclusions: The unique phenotype conferred by culturing DCs in IFN-α-2b may be useful in adoptive transfer regimens where the destruction of tumor cells in situ, initiation of T-cell responses toward tumor tissue with unknown Ags, and/or enhancement of pre-existing Ag-specific memory responses are desired outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2022-2031
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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