Strategies to stabilize remissions by specific elimination of residual acute myeloid leukemia (AML) blasts are needed. Leukemia-derived dendritic cell (DCleu/DC) generated from myeloid blasts improve antileukemic T-cell reactivity and install T-cell memory. Interferon (IFN)α-DC methods produce DCleu from chronic myeloid leukemia-patients (pts’) blood. Various INFα-containing versus other DC methods were studied to produce DCleu (evaluated by flowcytometry) from AML-pts’ blast-containing mononuclear (MNC) or whole blood (WB). After DCleu/DC stimulation in mixed lymphocyte cultures, T cells’ potential to gain antileukemic cytotoxicity was studied and correlated with different DC methods and DCleu/DC counts. (1) Generation of DCleu/DC: (a) “IFN-GIT” [containing granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF)+IFNα+ tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α] produced DC successfully (≥10% DC, ≥5% DCleu/cells) from AML-MNC (WB) in 54 (56%), “MCM-Mimic” in 76 (75%), “Picibanil” in 83 (64%), and “Calcium-ionophore” in 42 (67%) of cases. Proportions of DC subtypes in MNC (WB) were comparable with all DC methods, (b) IFNα combinations containing only GM-CSF+IFNα or only IFNα showed low efficiency to produce DCleu/DC from MNC (WB) compared with “IFN-GIT.” (2) Antileukemic functionality: DCleu/DC-stimulated T cells showed improved leukemia cytotoxicity compared with blast cells or unprimed (“up”) T cells. The highest blast proliferation (=insufficient T cells) was seen with “IFN-GIT” DC-stimulated T cells. Probability to respond to immunotherapy or to obtain blast lysis of DC-stimulated T cells correlated with high proportions of DCleu/DC after DC culture, independent of DC-generating methods. (3) Cytokine release profiles: levels of interleukin-6, IFN-γ, and interleukin-2 were significantly lower in DC culture supernatants (from MNC/WB) with “IFN-GIT” compared with “MCM,” “Pici,” and “Ca” DC supernatants. Our data show that (1) WB culture simulates AML-pts’ in vivo situation, (2) DC generation is possible from AML-MNC (WB) with IFNα-containing and other DC methods, (3) successful IFNα-DC generation needs GM-CSF+IFNα+TNF-α (IFN-GIT); however, “IFN-GIT” produces less DCleu/DC compared with other (non-IFNα) DC methods, (4) T cells stimulated with “IFN-GIT”-produced DCleu/DC yielded comparable antileukemic cytotoxicity; however, in cases without achieved blast lysis, an increased blast proliferation was observed.
*Department for Hematopoetic Cell Transplantation, Med. Dept.3, Workgroup Immunomodulation, University Hospital of Munich, Munich
†Department for Hematology and Oncology, Municipal Hospital, Oldenburg
‡Department for Hematopoetic Cell Transplantation, Municipal Hospital Augsburg, University Hospital Augsburg, Germany
Reprints: Helga Schmetzer, Department for Hematopoetic Transplantations, Klinikum Grosshadern, University of Munich, Marchioninistr.15, 81377 Munich, Germany (e-mail: Helga.Schmetzer@med.uni-muenchen.de).
Received May 17, 2018
Accepted December 20, 2018