BMC immunology

The interplay between surfaces and soluble factors define the immunologic and angiogenic properties of myeloid dendritic cells.

PMID 21645356


Dendritic cells (DCs) are antigen presenting cells capable of inducing specific immune responses against microbial infections, transplant antigens, or tumors. Interestingly, microenvironment conditions such as those present in tumor settings might induce a DC phenotype that is poorly immunogenic and with the capability of promoting angiogenesis. We hypothesize that this plasticity may be caused not only by the action of specific cytokines or growth factors but also by the properties of the surfaces with which they interact, such as extracellular matrix (ECM) components. Herewith we studied the effect of different surfaces and soluble factors on the biology of DCs. To accomplish this, we cultured murine myeloid(m) DCs on surfaces coated with fibronectin, collagen I, gelatin, and Matrigel using poly-D-lysine and polystyrene as non-biological surfaces. Further, we cultured these cells in the presence of regular DC medium (RPMI 10% FBS) or commercially available endothelial medium (EGM-2). We determined that mDCs could be kept in culture up to 3 weeks in these conditions, but only in the presence of GM-CSF. We were able to determine that long-term DC cultures produce an array of angiogenic factors, and that some of these cultures still retain the capability to induce T cell responses. Altogether these data indicate that in order to design DC-based vaccines or treatments focused on changing the phenotype of DCs associated with diseases such as cancer or atherosclerosis, it becomes necessary to fully investigate the microenvironment in which these cells are present or will be delivered.

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