Generation of large numbers of fully mature and stable dendritic cells from leukapheresis products for clinical application

J Immunol Methods. 1999 Feb 1;223(1):1-15. doi: 10.1016/s0022-1759(98)00208-7.


Dendritic Cell (DC)-based vaccination approaches in man require a reproducible DC generation method that can be performed in conformity with GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) guidelines and that circumvents the need for multiple blood drawings to generate DC. To this end we modified our previously described method to generate mature DC from CD14 + monocytes by a two step method (priming in GM-SF + IL-4 followed by maturation in monocyte conditioned medium) for use with leukapheresis products as a starting population. Several adaptations were necessary. We established, for example, a modified adherence step to reliably enrich CD14 + DC precursors from apheresis mononuclear cells. The addition of GM-CSF + IL-4 at the onset of culture proved disadvantageous and was, therefore, delayed for 24 h. DC development from apheresis cells occurred faster than from fresh blood or buffy coat, and was complete after 7 days. Monocyte conditioned medium when added on day 6 resulted in fully mature and stable DC (veiled, highly migratory and T cell sensitizing cells with a characteristic phenotype such as 85% CD83 + , p55/fascin + , CD115/M-CSF-R - , CD86 + ) already after 24 h. The mature DC progeny were shown to remain stable and viable if cultured for another 1-2 days in the absence of cytokines, and to be resistant to inhibitory effects of IL-10. Freezing conditions were established to generate DC from frozen aliquots of PBMC or to freeze mature DC themselves for later use. The approach yields large numbers of standardized DC (5-10 x 10(8) mature CD83 + DC/leukapheresis) that are suitable for performing sound DC-based vaccination trials that can be compared with each other.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Adhesion / immunology
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Cell Separation
  • Cryopreservation
  • Culture Media, Conditioned / pharmacology
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology*
  • Humans
  • Leukapheresis / methods*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / cytology
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Time Factors
  • Vaccination*


  • Culture Media, Conditioned