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The functional immaturity of dendritic cells can be relevant to increased tolerance associated with cord blood transplantation

Authors

  • Araceli Encabo,

    1. From the University General Hospital Foundation, Valencia; and the Cord Blood Bank and the Immunohematology Service, Transfusion Center, Valencia, Spain.
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  • Pilar Solves,

    1. From the University General Hospital Foundation, Valencia; and the Cord Blood Bank and the Immunohematology Service, Transfusion Center, Valencia, Spain.
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  • Francisco Carbonell-Uberos,

    1. From the University General Hospital Foundation, Valencia; and the Cord Blood Bank and the Immunohematology Service, Transfusion Center, Valencia, Spain.
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  • Maria Dolores Miñana

    1. From the University General Hospital Foundation, Valencia; and the Cord Blood Bank and the Immunohematology Service, Transfusion Center, Valencia, Spain.
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Maria Dolores Miñana, Fundación Hospital General Universitario de Valencia, Avenue. Tres Cruces s/n, 46014 Valencia, Spain; e-mail: minyana_mdo@gva.es.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Cord blood (CB) transplants have a significantly lower incidence of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) compared to marrow or peripheral blood transplants. Because antigen-presenting cells and regulatory T cells (Treg) are involved in transplant tolerance, this study was aimed at analyzing the distribution of dendritic cells (DCs) and CD14+ monocyte–specific subsets in CB and adult peripheral blood (APB) and comparing the ability of DCs from these two blood sources to induce CD4+ Treg.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Myeloid DCs (mDCs), plasmacytoid DCs, the CD14+ cell subsets CD14+CD16+ and CD14+CD209+, and CD4+ T cells were analyzed by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) in whole blood. To evaluate the functionality of DCs, isolated CD3+ T cells from an adult donor were cultured with allogenic DC-enriched fraction from CB or APB, and CD4+ Treg generation was determined by FACS. Additionally, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interferon (IFN)-α release by DCs was measured.

RESULTS: CB had a lesser frequency of DCs and specific CD14+ monocyte subsets than APB. After stimulation, monocytes from CB secreted less TNF-α than those from APB. Moreover, DCs from CB exhibited a more immature phenotype and had a decreased capacity to release TNF-α and IFN-α than those derived from APB, but on the contrary, they were efficient inducers of CD4+ T cells with a phenotype of Treg.

CONCLUSION: The tolerogenic immunophenotype and diminished functionality of CB DCs can be important to create a microenvironment where Treg develop, that in turn may be relevant to observed lower incidence of chronic GVHD after CB transplantation.

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