The success of adoptive immunotherapy for the treatment of leukemia depends on the generation of T cells that can specifically react with malignant cells. Dendritic cells (DCs) are important antigen-presenting cells in the development of antileukemic T-cell responses. In this study, we generated DCs from peripheral blood cells of patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). CML cells incubated concurrently with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, interleukin-4, and tumor necrosis factor-α in vitro developed morphologic and phenotypic characteristics of DCs. Fluorescence in situ hybridization showed the presence of t(9;22) in the nuclei of these cells, indicating that they were leukemia in origin. These cells were potent stimulators of lymphocyte proliferation in specific in vitro assays for DC function. Autologous T cells stimulated with in vitro-generated, leukemia DCs displayed vigorous cytotoxic activity against CML cells but low reactivity to major histocompatibility complex-matched normal bone marrow cells. Cytotoxic activity against CML targets was fourfold to sixfold higher using DC-stimulated autologous T cells than with autologous T cells expanded by culture with interleukin-2 alone. DC-stimulated T cells also inhibited growth of CML clonogenic precursors in colony-forming assays in vitro. These results suggest that cytokine-driven in vitro differentiation of CML cells results in generation of DCs with potent T-cell stimulatory function. In vitro-generated DCs can be effectively used as antigen-presenting cells for the ex vivo expansion of antileukemic T cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology