Dendritic cells as natural adjuvants

Methods. 1999 Sep;19(1):142-7. doi: 10.1006/meth.1999.0839.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are professional antigen presenting cells that hold the key to the induction of T-cell responses. Therefore, the use of DCs for immunotherapy to stimulate immune responses has recently raised a great deal of interest. Many clinical trials using DCs have been initiated to stimulate immune responses against tumors or infectious agents. Several issues need to be considered before DCs can be used successfully as natural adjuvants: DCs have to be generated in sufficient numbers; they should display morphological, phenotypical, and functional properties of DCs; and they should be able to present antigens. In the present review we focus on methods for the purification of DCs from human bone marrow and peripheral blood and for the optimization of in vitro cell culture systems. Methods to generate growth factor-dependent mouse DC lines are also described.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic*
  • Animals
  • Blood Cells / cytology
  • Blood Cells / immunology
  • Bone Marrow Cells / cytology
  • Bone Marrow Cells / immunology
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Separation / methods
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology
  • Dendritic Cells / drug effects
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Growth Substances / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / therapy


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Growth Substances