• dendritic cell;
  • HER2 peptide;
  • human serum albumin;
  • monocyte;
  • serum-free

Dendritic cells (DC) with the potential to induce anti-tumour immunity represent one of the promising candidates for cancer vaccines. Efficiency of ex vivo DC generation depends on culture conditions, especially protein components in the plasma or serum used. Using human serum albumin (HSA), we devised a constant and reproducible culture method for DC generation from peripheral blood CD14+ cells. The number of DC obtained with 2% HSA-supplemented cultures containing granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor and interleukin 4 were consistently higher than in cultures with various concentrations of autologous plasma or serum. The concentrations and time points tested for plasma or serum considerably affected the number of DC recovered. DC prepared with HSA acquired the ability to uptake dextran, and expressed high levels of major histocompatibility (MHC) and co-stimulatory molecules similar to DC cultured with autologous plasma or serum. Although DC cultured with autologous plasma or serum consisted of CD1a+ and CD1a populations, DC differentiated in the presence of HSA expressed CD1a. DC obtained with HSA primed and induced immunogenic peptide-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes against a tumour rejection antigen, HER2. These findings suggest that our method for preparation of DC with HSA should prove valuable in DC generation for immunotherapy.