Author(s): Rondelli D, Lemoli RM, Ratta M, Fogli M, Re F,
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Abstract CD40 antigen is a costimulatory molecule highly expressed on dendritic cells (DC) and activated B cells, which induces T-cell proliferation through the binding with CD40L receptor. In this study, we evaluated CD40 expression on normal CD34(+) blood cells and functionally characterized CD34(+)CD40(+) and CD34(+)CD40(-) cell subsets. CD40, CD80, and CD86 antigens were constitutively expressed on 3.2\% +/- 4.5\%, 0\%, and 1.8\% +/- 1.2\% CD34(+) blood cells, respectively. However, after 24 hours in liquid culture with medium alone, or with tumor-necrosis-factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), or with allogeneic mononuclear cells 10.8\% +/- 3.8\%, 75.3\% +/- 15.0\% and 53. 7\% +/- 17.0\% CD34(+) blood cells, respectively, became CD40(+). After incubation for 24 hours with TNF-alpha CD34(+)CD40(+) blood cells expressed only myeloid markers and contained less than 5\% CD86(+) and CD80(+) cells. Also, a 24-hour priming with TNF-alpha or ligation of CD40 significantly increased the CD34(+) blood cells alloantigen presenting function. Finally, purified CD34(+)CD40(+) blood cells stimulated an alloreactive T-cell response in MLC, were enriched in granulocytic, monocytic, and dendritic precursors, and generated high numbers of DC in 11-14 d liquid cultures with GM-CSF, SCF, TNF-alpha and FLT-3L. In contrast, CD34(+)CD40(-) cells were poorly immunogenic, contained committed granulocytic and erythroid precursors and early progenitors, and differentiated poorly toward the DC lineage. In conclusion, a short incubation with TNF-alpha allows the selection of CD40(+) blood progenitors, which may be a useful source of DC precursors for antitumor vaccine studies, and also a CD34(+)CD40(-) blood cell fraction that could be exploited in innovative strategies of allogeneic transplantation across HLA barriers.
This article was published in Blood
and referenced in Journal of Cell Science & Therapy