, Volume 91, Issue 3, pp 392-400
Date: 13 Feb 2010

Pluripotent stem cells as source of dendritic cells for immune therapy


Dendritic cells (DC) are the most potent antigen-presenting cells. In vivo transfer of antigen-bearing DC has proven efficient in priming T cell responses specific to the antigen. DC-based cellular vaccination is now regarded as a powerful means for immunotherapy, especially for anti-cancer immunotherapy. Clinical trials of therapy with DC pulsed with peptide antigens or genetically modified to present antigens are currently carried out in many institutions. In addition, antigen-specific negative regulation of immune response by DC is considered to be a promising approach for treatments of autoimmune diseases and also for regulation of allo-reactive immune response causing graft rejection and GVHD in transplantation medicine. DC for transfer therapy are now generated by in vitro differentiation of peripheral blood monocytes of the patients. However, there is a limitation in the number of available monocytes, and the DC-differentiation potential of monocytes varies depending on the blood donor. Embryonic stem (ES) cells possess both pluripotency and infinite propagation capacity. We consider ES cells to be an ideal source for DC to be used in immunotherapy. Several groups, including us, have developed methods to generate DC from ES cells. This review introduces the studies on generation, characterization, and genetic modification of DC derived from ES cells or induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. The issues to be resolved before clinical application of pluripotent stem cell-derived DC will also be discussed.