Transfected human dendritic cells to induce antitumor immunity

A. Rughetti, M. Biffoni, M. Sabbatucci, H. Rahimi, I. Pellicciotta, A. Fattorossi, L. Pierelli, G. Scambia, M. Lavitrano, L. Frati, M. Nuti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dendritic cells are professional antigen-presenting cells able to prime naive T lymphocytes and regulate steadily the delicate balance between tolerance and activation during the immune response. In past years several reports have shown that genetically engineered dendritic cells (DCs) can be a powerful tool for inducing an antigen-specific immune response. The use of such modified antigen-presenting cells is a real working hypothesis in preclinical studies and in clinical vaccination approaches for cancer treatment. The definition of optimal transfection conditions for preserving DC survival and functionally is necessary to design a correct immunotherapeutic protocol. Different lipid-based transfection compounds were studied for their effects on DC survival, phenotype and functional properties. All the transfection procedures were able to select DCs with a higher expression of activation and costimulatory molecules (ie MHCII-DR, CD83, CD86, CD25) than the untreated DCs. However, only two compounds (LipofectAMINE PLUS and FuGENE 6), preserved or even increased the immunopotency of DCs as antigen-presenting cells. These protocols were applied to modify DCs in order to express an epithelial tumor-associated antigen, MUC1, and such cells were able to induce in vitro a specific immune response in healthy donors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1458-1466
Number of pages9
JournalGene Therapy
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Cancer vaccine
  • Human dendritic cells
  • Transfection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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