Activation of dendritic cells from patients with epithelial ovarian cancer

Cherie LaVaughn Butts, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Dendritic cells (DCs) are the most potent antigen-presenting cells for inducing immune responses to tumor cells. Lin−HLA-DR + DC populations in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and in ascites mononuclear leukocytes (MNLs) of patients with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) are phenotypically immature. Lin−HLA-DR + DCs from PBMCs of normal subjects and EOC patients and MNLs from ascites cells of patients were examined for specific cell surface markers or indicators of differentiation or activation. Separating Lin− HLA-DR+ DCs into subsets based on their HLA-DR intensity provided an additional method for identifying the two major lineages of DCs, myeloid and plasmacytoid. The activation potential of these DCs following exposure to the maturation agents CD40 ligand (CD40L) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was examined by measurement of IL-12 and IL-10 concentrations in DC culture supernatants in addition to their ability to stimulate allogeneic T cells. DCs from PBMCs of normal subjects and EOC patients and DCs isolated from ascites MNLs of EOC patients were separated into subsets based on CD11c and CD123 cell surface marker expression identifying the major DC types. These subsets were then compared with cells sorted on the basis of HLA-DR intensity. The in vivo behavior of DCs and DC subsets in peripheral blood and ascites following treatment of peritoneal carcinoma patients with the growth factor fins-like tyrosine kinase 3 ligand (Flt3L) was also examined. Increases in proportions and total numbers of DCs from peripheral blood and ascites were associated with increased secretion of IL-12 and IL-10 following in vitro activation of cultured DCs. There were differences between DCs from PBMCs and ascites and between DC subsets in expression of cell surface markers, cytokine profile, and the ability of Lin−HLA-DR + cells to stimulate proliferation of allogeneic T cells from EOC patients. These Lin−HLA-DR+ cells have certain functional properties that suggest that they could have the potential to facilitate an adaptive anti-tumor immune response.

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Recommended Citation

Butts, Cherie LaVaughn, "Activation of dendritic cells from patients with epithelial ovarian cancer" (2003). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3083492.