Investigation of early dendritic cell lineage for potential application in immunotherapy and vaccine development

2017-01-30T23:46:32Z (GMT) by Kong, Ying Ying
Dendritic cells (DCs) are an important component of the innate immune system, which modulate the adaptive immune response. As a professional APC, DCs are often targeted in vaccine research and immunotherapeutic development. Most studies mass-produce mature DCs in late-phase in vitro cultures using mainly GM-CSF. However, DC-based therapy, especially for cancer, has largely been unsuccessful. Furthermore, the use of GM-CSF for DC generation can also produce myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). The presence of these cells may have contributed to the lack of response from the in vitro DCs. In this thesis, we investigated the properties, such as phenotype, endocytosis, activation and functionality, of early GM-CSF and GM-CSF + IL-4 derived DCs and MDSCs. We also attempted to explore the possible use of the early GM-CSF derived DCs in cancer therapy by exposing them to in vitro cancer cell lines. Whilst the results from this study revealed several promising aspects of the early GM-CSF derived culture, these findings still warrant further research before they can be integrated into the development of future vaccine and immunotherapeutic treatments.