Dendritic Cells as Natural Adjuvants

Generation of Dendritic Cells in a Patient
Generation of Dendritic Cells in a Patient
DCs are often referred to as natural adjuvants. Although over stimulation does pose a concern, promising results show low doses of vaccine-antigen and few DCs are all that are need to produce high levels of healthy T-cell creation and differentiation. In addition, in a clinical study, antigen-exposed dendritic cells were placed into cultures with lymphocytes (white blood cells). Following this T-cells were created and produced lymphokines and various cytoxic molecules (Steinman, Pope 2002). Healthy Dendritic cells have also been successful in mice, to obtain protective T-cell immunity against cancer and tumors.
this shows that DCs and cytokines contribute to more than just autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, showing a future focus of vaccines to not only contain the requisite antigens to initiate protective immunity but also provide stimuli to promote DC enhancement.

Dendritic cells have several functions (such as secretion of cytokines) that could be adjusted using vaccines to generate strong T-cell mediated immunity. Targeting DCs is becoming a valuable strategy given that the presentation of vaccine antigen of MHC class I is needed to activate CD8, which kill infected targets early in the microbial life cycles, thus stopping the spread and replication of viruses (Upham et al. 2006), which is much more efficient compared to the ‘classical’ endogenous pathway approaches. Moreover the mature dendritic cells rapidly induce recall responses to many antigens, including those which might cause autoimmune disease such as HIV viruses.

The above figure shows a tumor antigen linked to a cytokine bind to a dendritic cell. The dendritic cell processes the antigen and presents it to cytotoxic T cells. The activated cytotoxic T cells now recognize the cancer cell and destroy it.

Several clinical trials have been successful in treating cancer and current research is focusing on possible use of DCs in the induction of tolerance in organ transplants. To learn more about vaccines and vaccine development click here.

revious page: Inciting and Inhibiting Autoimmunity / HomereferencesContributed by Jess Youngberry