Effects of pentoxifylline on differentiation, maturation, and function of human CD14+ monocyte-derived dendritic cells

J Immunother. 2007 Jan;30(1):89-95. doi: 10.1097/01.cji.0000211323.53396.38.


Pentoxifylline (PTX) is a nonspecific phosphodiesterase inhibitor which has potent immunoregulatory and antiinflammatory effects. Although its immunomodulation property has been recognized, it is not clear whether PTX could affect dendritic cells (DCs), the most efficient antigen-presenting cells. The purpose of this study was to determine whether PTX could suppress DC differentiation, maturation, and its associated functions. Immature DCs (iDCs) were generated from human peripheral blood mononuclear cell CD14+ monocytes cultured with granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor and interleukin-4 for 5 days. PTX concentration-dependently suppressed the expression of iDC differentiation markers including CD54, CD80, CD86, and human leukocyte antigen-DR. In addition, PTX also inhibited DC maturation marker CD83 expression after stimulating DCs with lipopolysaccharide. Furthermore, PTX inhibited the antigen-uptake ability of DCs when tested by fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran endocytosis assay. PTX significantly reduced the production of TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma in mature DCs (mDCs). Consequently, PTX-treated mDCs showed a reduced activity of mDC-induced T-cell allostimulation and proliferation by mixed-lymphocyte reaction (MLR) assay. Therefore, PTX significantly inhibits CD14+ monocyte-derived DC differentiation, maturation, antigen-uptake ability of iDCs, and antigen-presentation ability of mDCs possibly due to the suppression of TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma production. These results suggested that inhibitory effects of PTX on DCs may contribute its antiinflammatory and immunoregulatory functions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / drug effects*
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors / immunology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation / drug effects
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Monocytes / drug effects*
  • Monocytes / immunology
  • Pentoxifylline / pharmacology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / biosynthesis
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / immunology


  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Pentoxifylline