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Stem cell factor and FLT3-ligand are strictly required to sustain the long-term expansion of primitive CD34+DR- dendritic cell precursors

Stem cell factor and FLT3-ligand are strictly required to sustain the long-term expansion of primitive CD34+DR- dendritic cell precursors

Journal of Immunology 166(2): 848-854

ISSN/ISBN: 0022-1767

PMID: 11145659

DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.166.2.848

We studied cytokine-driven differentiation of primitive human CD34(+)HLA-DR(-) cells to myeloid dendritic cells (DC). Hemopoietic cells were grown in long-term cultures in the presence of various combinations of early acting cytokines such as FLT3-ligand (FLT3-L) and stem cell factor (SCF) and the differentiating growth factors GM-CSF and TNF-alpha. Two weeks of incubation with GM-CSF and TNF-alpha generated fully functional DC. However, clonogenic assays demonstrated that CFU-DC did not survive beyond 1 wk in liquid culture regardless of whether FLT3-L and/or SCF were added. FLT3-L or SCF alone did not support DC maturation. However, the combination of the two early acting cytokines allowed a 100-fold expansion of CFU-DC for >1 month. Phenotypic analysis demonstrated the differentiation of CD34(+)DR(-) cells into CD34(-)CD33(+)DR(+)CD14(+) cells, which were intermediate progenitors capable of differentiating into functionally active DC upon further incubation with GM-CSF and TNF-alpha. As expected, GM-CSF and TNF-alpha generated DC from committed CD34(+)DR(+) cells. However, only SCF, with or without FLT3-L, induced the expansion of DC precursors for >4 wk, as documented by secondary clonogenic assays. This demonstrates that although GM-CSF and TNF-alpha do not require additional cytokines to generate DC from primitive human CD34(+)DR(-) progenitor cells, they do force terminal differentiation of DC precursors. Conversely, FLT3-L and SCF do not directly affect DC differentiation, but instead sustain the long-term expansion of CFU-DC, which can be induced to produce mature DC by GM-CSF and TNF-alpha.

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Accession: 018127702

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