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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Analysis of maturation states of rat bone marrow-derived dendritic cells using an improved culture technique.

In this study, we examined in more detail the development of rat bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDC). A two-stage culture system was used to propagate BMDC from rat bone marrow precursors. BMDC developed within clusters of proliferating cells after repetitive addition of rat granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor and rat interleukin (IL)-4 at a concentration of 5 ng/ml to the cultures. Fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis performed at an early stage of development (day 6) revealed an immature phenotype with intermediate levels of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II expression and low levels of the costimulator molecules CD80 and CD86. Upon further culture, a strong upregulation of MHC class II, costimulatory and adhesion molecules could be observed, whereas macrophage marker antigens were downregulated. Late-stage BMDC (day 10) showed a high expression of MHC class I and II, ICAM-1, Ox62 and CD11c, and revealed a split pattern of B7-1 and B7-2. The cell yield was about 40% of the initially plated bone marrow cells with 80% MHC class II-high and less than 20% MHC class II-low positive cells. Full maturation of rat BMDC (day 12) with an almost uniform expression of B7 was achieved by subsequent subculture and further stimulation with rat tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or soluble CD40 ligand (CD40L). Analysis of the cell supernatant revealed a strong IL-12 production after LPS or CD40L, and to a lesser extent after TNF-alpha stimulation. Additionally, LPS-treated, but not CD40L-treated BMDC secreted TNF-alpha into the supernatant. Early-stage BMDC sufficiently triggered a T cell receptor (TCR) downregulation, but did not stimulate naive T cells in an allogeneic mixed leukocyte reaction (MLR) and revealed a low stimulatory capacity in an antigen-specific T cell assay. In contrast, late-stage BMDC and especially fully mature BMDC strongly induced TCR internalisation, elicited high T cell responses in the allogeneic MLR similar to those obtained by mature rat spleen dendritic cells and efficiently activated antigen-specific T cells. In conclusion, this protocol allows easy access to large numbers of rat BMDC at defined maturation stages and selective studies for the manipulation of immune responses in rat models.[1]


  1. Analysis of maturation states of rat bone marrow-derived dendritic cells using an improved culture technique. Grauer, O., Wohlleben, G., Seubert, S., Weishaupt, A., Kämpgen, E., Gold, R. Histochem. Cell Biol. (2002) [Pubmed]
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