Generation of immunogenic and tolerogenic clinical-grade dendritic cells

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Abstract

Immunotherapy with dendritic cells (DCs), which have been manipulated ex vivo to become immunogenic or tolerogenic, has been tested in clinical trials for disease therapy. DCs are sentinels of the immune system, which after exposure to antigenic or inflammatory signals and crosstalk with effector CD4+ T cells express high levels of costimulatory molecules and cytokines. Upregulation of either costimulatory molecules or cytokines promotes immunologic DCs, whereas their downregulation generates tolerogenic DCs (TDCs), which induce T regulatory cells (Tregs) and a state of tolerance. Immunogenic DCs are used for the therapy of infectious diseases such as HIV-1 and cancer, whereas tolerogenic DCs are used in treating various autoimmune diseases and in transplantation. DC vaccination is still at an early stage, and improvements are mainly needed in quality control of monitoring assays to generate clinical-grade DC products and to assess the effect of DC vaccination in future clinical trials. Here, we review the recent work in DC generation and monitoring approaches for DC-based trials with immunogenic or tolerogenic DCs.

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