Polymeric inserts differing in their chemical composition as substrates for dendritic cell cultivation


Dendritic cells (DC) contribute to immunity by presenting antigens to T cells and shape the immune response by the secretion of cytokines. Due to their immune stimulatory potential DC-based therapies are promising approaches to overcome tolerance e.g. against tumors. In order to enforce the immunogenicity of DCs, they have to be matured and activated in vitro , which requires an appropriate cell culture substrate, supporting their survival expansion and activation. Since most cell culture devices are not optimized for DC growth, it is hypothesized that polymers with certain physicochemical properties can positively influence the DC cultures. With the aim to evaluate the effects that polymers with different chemical compositions have on the survival, the activation status, and the cytokine/chemokine secretion profile of DC, their interaction with polystyrene (PS), polycarbonate (PC), poly(ether imide) (PEI), and poly(styrene-co -acrylonitrile) (PSAN)-based cell culture inserts was investigated. By using this insert system, which fits exactly into 24 well cell culture plates, effects induced from the culture dish material can be excluded. The viability of untreated DC after incubation with the different inserts was not influenced by the different inserts, whereas LPS-activated DC showed an increased survival after cultivation on PC, PS, and PSAN compared to tissue culture polystyrene (TCP). The activation status of DC estimated by the expression of CD40, CD80, CD83, CD86 and HLA-DR expression was not altered by the different inserts in untreated DC but slightly reduced when LPS-activated DC were cultivated on PC, PS, PSAN, and PEI compared to TCP. For each polymeric cell culture insert a distinct cytokine profile could be observed. Since inserts with different chemical compositions of the inserts did not substantially alter the behavior of DC all insert systems could be considered as alternative substrate. The observed increased survival on some polymers, which showed in contrast to TCP a hydrophobic surface, could be beneficial for certain applications such as T cell expansion and activation.
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