Augmentation of type-1 polarizing ability of monocyte-derived dendritic cells from chronically immunosuppressed organ-transplant recipients

Camila Macedo, Iulia Popescu, Kareem Abu-Elmagd, Jorge Reyes, Ron Shapiro, Adriana Zeevi, Jan Mueller Berghaus, Lian Fu Wang, Lina Lu, Angus W. Thomson, Walter J. Storkus, John J. Fung, Diana Metes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background. Chronic immunosuppressive (IS) therapy impairs normal T-cell immune surveillance and may predispose to opportunistic infections and malignancies that represent life-threatening complication of solid-organ transplantation (SOTx). Our study was designed to ascertain the impact of chronic in vivo administration of IS on the ability of monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MoDC) to differentiate, mature, and function ex vivo. The potential of these cells to be implemented for DC-based adoptive immunotherapy was also considered. Methods. MoDCs were propagated by conventional procedures, their phenotype was analyzed by flow cytometry, and their function was assessed by mixed leukocyte reaction, enzyme-linked immunoadsorbent assay, and ELISPOT assays. Nuclear translocation of nuclear factor (NF)-kB was analyzed by electrophoretic mobility shift assay. Results. Circulating DC1s in peripheral blood were reduced in SOTx patients. MoDCs generated from patients displayed higher endocytic activity versus normal DCs, indicating their comparative immaturity. Patients' DCs exposed to pro-inflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin [IL]-1β, and IL-6) were less able to mature, to stimulate recall antigen (Ag)- or allo-Ag-induced proliferation responses, or to secrete IL-12p70. These deficiencies were associated with a decrease in NF-kB translocation. In contrast, combination of pro-inflammatory cytokines and interferon (IFN)-γ (a Th1-polarizing factor) augmented patients' DC1-type function and IL-12p70 production byway of an NF-kB-independent mechanism. Conclusions. Chronic IS restrains DC differentiation, maturation, and function at a transcriptional level; however, type-1 polarizing potential of patients' DC1 can be augmented ex vivo by a two-signal stimulation provided by pro-inflammatory cytokines and IFN-γ. These results may have implications for DC-based immunotherapy of malignancies in the transplantation setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-459
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - 27 Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytokines
  • Dendritic cells
  • Human
  • Immunosuppressive drugs
  • Solid organ transplantation


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