Dendritic cells (DC) play a key role in driving the adaptive immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), the causative pathogen of tuberculosis (TB). However, studying these important yet very sparse immune cells in the context of MTB pathogenesis is severely restricted by the lack of suitable cell lines and the complexity of culturing of DC progenitors, usually obtained from the bone marrow. However, significant advances have been made towards generating long-term DC cultures from various lymphoid tissues. Here, we report the evidence for generating a long-term, self-renewing DC culture from the Balb/c mouse spleen. We demonstrate that these cells, termed IDC-3, have a myeloid DC origin, i.e. they are CD11c(+) CD11b(++) CD8-α(-) F4/80(+/-) and that they also display a phenotype MHC-II(+) CD16/32(++) CD80(+/-) CD86(+) , indicating that they are immature DC. Following incubation with Mycobacterium bovis BCG (Bacillus Calmette Guerin), the IDC-3 efficiently took up bacteria and acquired the morphology of mature DC. Importantly though, when IDC-3 were pre-stimulated with a mycobacterial antigen in vitro, they were able to induce proliferation of T lymphocytes from mice immunized with the same antigen. The T-cell stimulatory potential of IDC-3 was further enhanced when the cells were co-stimulated with an anti-CD40 mAb. We therefore suggest that the IDC-3 culture system could be a useful tool for studying the interaction of DC with mycobacteria.
Bibliographical note© 2010 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2010 APMIS.
- Antigen Presentation
- Antigens, Bacterial/immunology
- Cell Culture Techniques
- Dendritic Cells/cytology
- Flow Cytometry
- Lymphocyte Activation
- Lymphoid Progenitor Cells/cytology
- Mice, Inbred BALB C