SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

Immunotherapy using dendritic cells (DC) has shown promising results. However, the use of an appropriate DC population is critical for the outcome of this treatment, and the search for an optimal DC subset is still ongoing. The DC used in immunotherapy today are usually matured with a cytokine cocktail consisting of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and PGE2. These cells have deficits in their cytokine production, particularly IL-12p70, mainly because of the presence of PGE2. Bromelain is a pineapple stem extract containing a mixture of proteases that has been used clinically in adjuvant cancer treatment. In this study, we analysed the effect of bromelain on human monocyte-derived DC. We added bromelain to the cytokine cocktail and modified cytokine cocktails with either no PGE2 or reduced amounts of PGE2, respectively. Combining bromelain with the cytokine cocktails containing PGE2 resulted in an increased surface expression of CD83, CD80 and CD86. The chemokine receptor CCR7 was also considerably upregulated in these DC populations compared with DC treated with the cytokine cocktail alone. Removal or reduction of PGE2 from the cytokine cocktail did not increase the IL-12p70 secretion from stimulated DC, and addition of bromelain to the different cytokine cocktails resulted in only a minor increase in IL-12p70 production. Moreover, combining bromelain with the cytokine cocktails did not improve the T cell stimulatory capacity of the generated DC populations. In conclusion, bromelain treatment of monocyte-derived DC does not improve the functional quality compared with the standard cytokine cocktail.