Cell transplantation

Adult human hepatocytes promote CD4(+) T-cell hyporesponsiveness via interleukin-10-producing allogeneic dendritic cells.

PMID 23582182


The success of liver cell therapy remains closely dependent on how well the infused cells can be accepted after transplantation and is directly related to their degree of immunogenicity. In this study, we investigated the in vitro immunogenic properties of isolated human hepatocytes (hHeps) and adult-derived human liver progenitor cells (ADHLPCs), an alternative cell candidate for liver cell transplantation (LCT). The constitutive expression of immune markers was first analyzed on these liver-derived cells by flow cytometry. Human liver-derived cells were then cocultured with allogeneic human adult peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), and the resulting activation and proliferation of PBMCs was evaluated, as well as the cytokine levels in the coculture supernatant. The effect of liver-derived cells on monocyte-derived dendritic cell (MoDC) properties was further analyzed in a secondary coculture with naive CD4(+) T-cells. We report that hHeps and ADHLPCs expressed human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I and Fas but did not express HLA-DR, Fas ligand, and costimulatory molecules. hHeps and ADHLPCs did not induce T-cell activation or proliferation. Moreover, hHeps induced a cell contact-dependent production of interleukin (IL)-10 that was not observed with ADHLPCs. The IL-10 was produced by a myeloid DC subset characterized by an incomplete mature state. Furthermore, hHep-primed MoDCs induced an antigen-independent hyporesponsiveness of naive CD4(+) T lymphocytes that was partially reversed by blocking IL-10, whereas nonprimed MoDCs (i.e., those cultured alone) did not. hHeps and ADHLPCs present a low immunogenic phenotype in vitro. Allogeneic hHeps, but not ADHLPCs, promote a cell contact-dependent production of IL-10 by myeloid DCs, which induces naive CD4(+) T-cells antigen-independent hyporesponsiveness.