The common marmoset is a small New World Primate that has been used as an immunological model for a number of human diseases. Dendritic cells (DC) have not been extensively characterised in this species and in particular protocols to derive DC from living donors without the need for animal sacrifice are presently lacking. This study establishes new protocols to generate substantial numbers of marmoset DC for use in cell therapy studies. Recombinant human G-CSF was used to mobilise peripheral blood monocytes and CD34(+) stem cells in sufficient numbers for large scale in-vitro DC propagation using cytokine conditioning including IL-4, GM-CSF, FLT3-L, stem cell factor and thrombopoietin. Marmoset DC exhibited morphology similar to human DC, were capable of antigen uptake and presentation and had moderate allo-stimulatory ability. Monocyte-derived DC had a maturation-resistant immature phenotype, whereas haematopoietic precursor-derived DC were semi-mature in phenotype and function. This study confirms the feasibility of the marmoset as a unique small primate model in which to pursue DC-based immunotherapy strategies.
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