Phenotypic and functional characteristics of dendritic cells derived from human peripheral blood monocytes

J Zhejiang Univ Sci B. 2005 Dec;6(12):1176-81. doi: 10.1631/jzus.2005.B1176.


Objective: This study is aimed at developing a simple and easy way to generate dendritic cells (DCs) from human peripheral blood monocytes (PBMCs) in vitro.

Methods: PBMCs were isolated directly from white blood cell rather than whole blood and purified by patching methods (collecting the attached cell and removing the suspension cell). DCs were then generated by culturing PBMCs for six days with 30 ng/ml recombinant human granulocyte-macrophage stimulating factor (rhGM-CSF) and 20 ng/ml recombinant human interleukin-4 (rhIL-4) in vitro. On the sixth day, TNF-alpha (TNFalpha) 30 ng/ml was added into some DC cultures, which were then incubated for two additional days. The morphology was monitored by light microscopy and transmission electronic microscopy, and the phenotypes were determined by flow cytometry. Autologous mixed leukocyte reactions (MLR) were used to characterize DC function after TNFalpha or lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulations for 24 h.

Results: After six days of culture, the monocytes developed significant dendritic morphology and a portion of cells expressed CD1a, CD80 and CD86, features of DCs. TNFalpha treatment induced DCs maturation and up-regulation of CD80, CD86 and CD83. Autologous MLR demonstrated that these DCs possess potent T-cell stimulatory capacity.

Conclusion: This study developed a simple and easy way to generate DCs from PBMCs exposed to rhGM-CSF and rhIL-4. The DCs produced by this method acquired morphologic and antigenic characteristics of DCs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods*
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology*
  • Dendritic Cells / drug effects
  • Dendritic Cells / physiology*
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-4 / pharmacology*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / cytology*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / drug effects
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / physiology*
  • Phenotype
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / pharmacology


  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Interleukin-4
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor