Monocyte-derived dendritic cells generated after a short-term culture with IFN-alpha and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor stimulate a potent Epstein-Barr virus-specific CD8+ T cell response

Laura Santodonato, Giuseppina D'Agostino, Roberto Nisini, Sabrina Mariotti, Domenica M Monque, Massimo Spada, Laura Lattanzi, Maria Paola Perrone, Mauro Andreotti, Filippo Belardelli, Maria Ferrantini
Journal of Immunology 2003 May 15, 170 (10): 5195-202
Cellular immune responses are crucial for the control of EBV-associated lymphoproliferative diseases. To induce an anti-EBV cell-mediated immunity, we have used dendritic cells (DCs) generated by a 3-day culture of human CD14(+) monocytes in the presence of GM-CSF and type I IFN (IFN-DCs) and pulsed with peptides corresponding to CTL EBV epitopes. The functional activity of IFN-DCs was compared with that of APCs differentiated by culturing monocytes for 3 days with GM-CSF and IL-4 and indicated as IL-4-DCs. Stimulation of PBLs from EBV-seropositive donors with EBV peptide-pulsed autologous IFN-DCs resulted in a stronger expansion of specific T lymphocytes producing IFN-gamma with respect to stimulation with peptide-loaded IL-4-DCs, as assessed by ELISPOT assays. When purified CD8(+) T cells were cocultured with EBV peptide-pulsed IFN-DCs or IL-4-DCs, significantly higher levels of specific cytotoxic activity were observed in CD8(+) T cell cultures stimulated with IFN-DCs. Injection of peptide-pulsed IFN-DCs into SCID mice transplanted with autologous PBLs led to the recovery of a significantly greater number of EBV-specific human CD8(+) T cells from the spleen and the peritoneal cavity with respect to that recovered from mice injected with peptide-pulsed IL-4-DCs. Moreover, a significant delay in lymphoma development was observed when peptide-pulsed IFN-DCs were injected into SCID mice reconstituted with PBMCs endowed with a high capability of lymphoma induction, whereas injection of unpulsed IFN-DCs was ineffective. Our results indicate that IFN-DCs efficiently promote in vitro and in vivo the expansion of CD8(+) T lymphocytes acting as cytotoxic effectors against EBV-transformed cells.

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