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Transcriptional Profiling of Human Dendritic Cell Populations and Models - Unique Profiles of In Vitro Dendritic Cells and Implications on Functionality and Applicability

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      Dendritic cells (DCs) comprise heterogeneous populations of cells, which act as central orchestrators of the immune response. Applicability of primary DCs is restricted due to their scarcity and therefore DC models are commonly employed in DC-based immunotherapy strategies and in vitro tests assessing DC function. However, the interrelationship between the individual in vitro DC models and their relative resemblance to specific primary DC populations remain elusive.


      To describe and assess functionality and applicability of the available in vitro DC models by using a genome-wide transcriptional approach.


      Transcriptional profiling was performed with four commonly used in vitro DC models (MUTZ-3-DCs, monocyte-derived DCs, CD34-derived DCs and Langerhans cells (LCs)) and nine primary DC populations (dermal DCs, LCs, blood and tonsillar CD123 +, CD1c + and CD141 + DCs, and blood CD16 + DCs).


      Principal Component Analysis showed that transcriptional profiles of each in vitro DC model most closely resembled CD1c + and CD141 + tonsillar myeloid DCs (mDCs) among primary DC populations. Thus, additional differentiation factors may be required to generate model DCs that more closely resemble other primary DC populations. Also, no model DC stood out in terms of primary DC resemblance. Nevertheless, hierarchical clustering showed clusters of differentially expressed genes among individual DC models as well as primary DC populations. Furthermore, model DCs were shown to differentially express immunologically relevant transcripts and transcriptional signatures identified for each model DC included several immune-associated transcripts.


      The unique transcriptional profiles of in vitro DC models suggest distinct functionality in immune applications. The presented results will aid in the selection of an appropriate DC model for in vitro assays and assist development of DC-based immunotherapy.

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          Efficient presentation of soluble antigen by cultured human dendritic cells is maintained by granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor plus interleukin 4 and downregulated by tumor necrosis factor alpha

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            Author and article information

            [1 ]Department of Immunotechnology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
            [2 ]Environmental Risk and Health Unit, Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO), Mol, Belgium
            [3 ]Department of Medical Oncology, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
            [4 ]Department of Dermatology, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
            University of Bergen, Norway
            Author notes

            Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

            Conceived and designed the experiments: KL ML. Performed the experiments: KL ML AA IN SS. Analyzed the data: KL ML AA. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: KL AA IN SS TDG SG ML . Wrote the paper: KL AA IN SS TDG SG ML.

            Role: Editor
            PLoS One
            PLoS ONE
            PLoS ONE
            Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
            14 January 2013
            : 8
            : 1
            23341914 3544800 PONE-D-12-26955 10.1371/journal.pone.0052875

            This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

            Pages: 15
            This work was supported by grants from the Swedish Research Council (2008-743-57748-66, and the European Commission as part of the Integrated project ‘Novel Testing Strategies for in vitro Assessment of Allergens; Sens-it-iv’ (LSHB-CT-2005-018681, The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
            Research Article
            Genome Analysis Tools
            Genome Expression Analysis
            Immune Cells
            Antigen-Presenting Cells
            Immune Activation
            Immune Tolerance
            Innate Immunity
            Immunologic Techniques
            Allergy and Hypersensitivity
            Antigen Processing and Recognition



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