Generation of immunogenic dendritic cells from human embryonic stem cells without serum and feeder cells.
Tseng SY., Nishimoto KP., Silk KM., Majumdar AS., Dawes GN., Waldmann H., Fairchild PJ., Lebkowski JS., Reddy A.
AIM: Dendritic cell (DC)-based vaccines have a potential utility for use in the treatment of malignancy. Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) may provide a more cost-effective and reliable source of DCs for immunotherapy purposes, providing on-demand access for patients. METHOD: We developed a protocol to generate DCs from hESCs in vitro in the absence of serum and feeder cells. This protocol uses growth factors bone morphogenetic protein-4, granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), stem cell factor and VEGF in serum-free media to generate hESC-derived monocytic cells. These cells are further differentiated to hESC-derived immature DCs with GM-CSF and IL-4, and matured to hESC-derived mature DCs with a maturation cocktail consisting of GM-CSF, TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, IFN-gamma and PGE2. RESULTS: This study demonstrates the applicability of our defined differentiation process in generating functional hESC-derived DCs from multiple hESC lines. We show that hESC-derived immature DCs phagocytose, process, and present antigen upon maturation. hESC-derived mature DCs express the maturation marker CD83, produce Th1-directing cytokine IL-12p70, migrate in response to chemokine, and activate both viral and tumor antigen-specific T-cell responses. CONCLUSION: We developed a chemically defined system to generate unlimited numbers of DCs from hESCs. Our results demonstrate that hESC-derived DCs generated from this process are immunogenic and have the potential to be used for DC immunotherapy.