Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, interleukin-2, and interleukin-12 synergize with calcium ionophore to enhance dendritic cell function

Isabelle Bedrosian, James G. Roros, Shuwen Xu, Hung Q. Nguyen, Friederike Engels, Mark B. Faries, Gary K. Koski, Peter A. Cohen, Brian J. Czerniecki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The authors previously showed that monocytes treated with calcium ionophore (CI) acquire characteristics of mature dendritic cells (DC) in part through a calcineurin-dependent pathway. In this study, the authors evaluated the ability of granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), interleukin-2 (IL-2), and interleukin-12 (IL-12) alone or in combination with CI to induce DC characteristics in peripheral blood monocytes. Monocytes obtained by leukapheresis and countercurrent centrifugal elutriation were cultured with calcium, cytokines, or both, profiled by flow cytometry, and assessed for antigen uptake and sensitization of autologous CD8+ T cells to antigen. Monocytes treated with the combination of GM-CSF, IL-2, and IL-12 resulted in immunophenotypic and antigen uptake profiles typical of immature DC, including loss of surface CD14 expression, de novo low-level expression of B7.1, negligible CD83 expression, marked enhancement of CD40 and ICAM-1, and high major histocompatibility complex class I and II levels. A high level of antigen uptake by macropinocytosis was observed. In contrast, CI treatment significantly upregulates B7.1, B7.2, CD40, CD54, and CD83 and substantially downregulates CD14 and macropinocytosis, a profile consistent with mature DC. Many CI-induced modulations, but none resulting from cytokine treatment alone, were inhibited by the calcineurin phosphatase inhibitor cyclosporin A. Compared with monocytes treated with CI alone, combined treatment of monocytes with GM-CSF, IL-2, IL-12, and CI augmented B7.1 and CD83 expression and enhanced sensitization of autologous CD8+ T cells to melanoma-antigen- derived peptides. These results suggest that several independent pathways of DC activation can cooperatively enhance the function of monocyte-derived DC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-320
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunotherapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2000


  • Calcineurin
  • Calcium ionophore
  • Cytokines
  • Immature dendritic cells
  • Melanoma peptides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research


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