Differential effects of monophosphoryl lipid A and cytokine cocktail as maturation stimuli of immunogenic and tolerogenic dendritic cells for immunotherapy

Dàlia Raïch-Regué, Mar Naranjo-Gómez, Laia Grau-López, Cristina Ramo, Ricardo Pujol-Borrell, Eva Martínez-Cáceres, Francesc E. Borràs

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Immunotherapy using monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MDDC) is increasingly being considered as alternative therapeutic approach in cancer, infectious diseases and also in autoimmunity when patients are not responsive to conventional treatments. In general, generation of MDDC from monocytes is induced in the presence of GM-CSF and IL-4, and a maturation stimulus is added to the culture to obtain mature DCs suitable for therapy. For DC maturation, different combinations of pro-inflammatory mediators and Toll-like receptor ligands have been tested, obtaining DCs that differ in their properties and the type of immune response they promote. Therefore, it is necessary to find an optimal cytokine environment for DC maturation to obtain a cellular product suitable for DC-based immunotherapeutic protocols.In this study, we have evaluated in vitro the effects of different maturation stimuli on the viability, phenotype, cytokine profile, stability and functionality of immunogenic and tolerogenic (1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D 3-treated) MDDC. Maturation was induced using the clinical grade TLR4-agonist: monophosphoryl lipid A (LA), compared to the traditional cytokine cocktail (CC; clinical grade TNF-α, IL-1β, PGE2) and a combination of both.Our results showed the combination of CC. +. LA rendered a potent immunogenic DC population that induced the production of IFN-γ and IL-17 in allogeneic co-cultures, suggesting a Th17 polarization. Moreover, these immunogenic DCs showed a high surface expression of CD83, CD86, HLA-DR and secretion of IL-12p70. When aiming to induce tolerance, using LA to generate mature TolDC did not represent a clear advantage, and the stability and the suppressive capability exhibited by CC-matured TolDC may represent the best option. Altogether, these findings demonstrate the relevance of an appropriate maturation stimulus to rationally modulate the therapeutic potential of DCs in immunotherapy. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-387
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2012


  • Cell therapy
  • Clinical-grade TLR-agonist
  • DC-based vaccine
  • Human dendritic cells
  • Interleukin-17
  • Maturation stimuli


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