Nucleoporation of dendritic cells: efficient gene transfer by electroporation into human monocyte-derived dendritic cells

FEBS Lett. 2003 Mar 13;538(1-3):149-54. doi: 10.1016/s0014-5793(03)00169-8.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are ideal accessory cells in the developing field of gene therapy. Although viral transfection of DCs has become widespread, non-viral transfection of DCs has shown disappointing results. Recently, a new technique for transfecting primary cells has become available -- the Amaxa Nucleofector. Here, we describe the use of this device in the successful non-viral transfection of human monocyte-derived DCs. Using enhanced green fluorescent protein as a reporter gene DCs were transfectable with efficiencies approaching 60%, remaining responsive to lipopolysaccharide-stimulated cytokine production in short-term experiments (though long-term functional assays were hampered by loss of viability). Although these data demonstrate the ease and efficiency with which human monocyte-derived DCs can now be non-virally transfected, they also suggest the limitations of this technology due to the gradual loss of cell viability. The potential use of this system in the development of DC-based cell and gene therapies will be hampered until cell viability can be maintained.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / metabolism*
  • Electroporation*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Kinetics
  • Luminescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Monocytes / immunology
  • Monocytes / metabolism*
  • Transfection


  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins