Efficient transduction of monocyte- and CD34+- derived Langerhans cells with lentiviral vectors in the absence of phenotypic and functional maturation

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Gene delivery in dendritic cells (DC) has raised considerable interest to modulate DC functions and induce therapeutic immunity or tolerance in an antigen-specific fashion. Among immature DC, Langerhans cells (LC) are attractive candidates for antigen delivery using lentiviral vectors (LV).


LC derived from monocytes (Mo-LC), or derived from CD34+ cells (CD34-LC) in the presence of cytokine cocktail, were transduced with LV expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (E-GFP) under the control of the ubiquitous phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK) promoter at a multiplicity of infection of 18, at days 0 to 3 for Mo-LC, or at days 0 to 12 for CD34-LC. We assessed gene transfer levels from the percentage of E-GFP+ cells in the final cultures, and examined the morphology, immunophenotype, state of differentiation and function of transduced LC.


Day 0 transduction of monocytes or CD34+ progenitors before cytokine pre-activation and LC differentiation resulted in stable gene expression in 7.8% of Mo-LC and 24% of CD34-LC. Monocyte-derived DC (Mo-DC) differentiated in serum-free medium were also efficiently transduced up to 13.2%. Interestingly, Mo-LC cells committed towards LC phenotype were permissive for transduction up to day 3. Transduction levels of CD34-LC peaked at day 6 to 44% and decreased thereafter. LV transduction did not perturb viability, phenotype and function of E-GFP-expressing LC.


LC generated ex vivo can serve as vaccine vehicles in humans through efficient transduction by LV. These LC will be helpful to assess in vitro the immunogenicity of gene therapy vectors, from the characterization of their phenotypic and functional maturation. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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