Dendritic cells (DCs) are powerful antigenpresenting cells (APCs), that have so far been applied for cancer specific immunotherapy. Recent results suggest that matured DCs derived from human monocytes have a significant impact on the outcome of vaccination. The conventional generation of mature DCs from human monocytes in vitro has been reported to require 5 days for differentiation with granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), interleukin (IL)-4 and 2 days for stimulation. We herein report a new strategy for the functional maturation of monocyte-derived DCs within only 2 days of in vitro culture and the induction of specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) to tumor rejection peptide. The monocytes were incubated for 1 day with GM-CSF and IL-4, followed by activation with a bacterial product, OK-432 and prostaglandin E 2 (PGE2) for another 1 day (rapid DC). Rapid DC expressed mature DC surface markers as well as chemokine receptor 7 and secreted Th1-type cytokines. The DCs genereated in this study mobilized Ca2+ in response to CCL21/6Ckine and SDF-1, but only marginally did so to Mip-1α. Moreover, when rapid DC were compared with mature conventional 7-day DCs, they were equally potent in inducing specific CTLs in vitro. These results indicate that the rapid DC is as effective as the monocyte-derived conventional DCs. The rapid DC would be a potentially useful new cancer-specific immunotherapy.
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