Tanja Kroell

Ludwig-Maximilian-University of Munich, München, Bavaria, Germany

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Publications (20)61.59 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Stem cell transplantations and donor lymphocyte infusions are promising immunotherapies to cure acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Leukemia-derived dendritic cells are known to improve antileukemic functionality of T cells. We evaluated the composition and development of distinct T-cell subtypes in AML patients (n=12) compared with healthy probands (n=5) before and during stimulation with leukemia-derived dendritic cells-containing DC (DC) or blast-containing mononuclear cells (MNC) in 0-7 days mixed lymphocyte cultures (MLC) by flow cytometry. AML patients' T-cell subgroups were correlated with antileukemic functionality before and after DC/MNC stimulation by functional fluorolysis assays. (1) Unstimulated T cells from AML patients presented with significantly lower proportions of activated, Tcm, CD137, and β-integrin T cells, and significantly higher proportions of Tnaive and Teff compared with healthy probands. (2) After 7 days of DC or MNC stimulation, T-cell profiles were characterized by (significantly) increased proportions of activated T cells with effector function and significantly decreased proportions of β-integrin T cells. (3) Antileukemic cytotoxicity was achieved in 40% of T cells after MNC stimulation compared with 64% after DC stimulation. Antileukemic activity after DC stimulation but not after MNC stimulation correlated with higher proportions of Tcm and Tnaive before stimulation, as well as with significantly higher proportions of activated and β-integrin T cells. Furthermore, cutoff values for defined T-cell activation/differentiation markers and β-integrin T cells could be defined, allowing a prediction of antileukemic reactivity. We could demonstrate the potential of the composition of unstimulated/DC-stimulated T cells for the lysis of AML blasts. Especially, AML patients with high numbers of Tnaive and Tcm could benefit from DC stimulation; proportions of activated and β-integrin T cells correlated with increased antileukemic functionality and could serve to predict T cells' reactivity during stimulation. Refined analyses in the context of responses to immunotherapies are required.
    Journal of immunotherapy (Hagerstown, Md.: 1997) 07/2014; 37(6):331-347. · 3.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: T-cells play an important role in the remission-maintenance in AML-patients (pts) after SCT, however the role of LAA- (WT1, PR1, PRAME) or minor-histocompatibility (mHag, HA1) antigen-specific CD4(+) and CD8(+)T-cells is not defined. A LAA/HA1-peptide/protein stimulation, cloning and monitoring strategy for specific CD8(+)/CD4(+)T-cells in AML-pts after SCT is given. Our results show that (1) LAA-peptide-specific CD8+T-cells are detectable in every AML-pt after SCT. CD8(+)T-cells, recognizing two different antigens detectable in 5 of 7 cases correlate with long-lasting remissions. Clonal TCR-Vβ-restriction exemplarily proven by spectratyping in PRAME-specific CD8(+)T-cells; high PRAME-peptide-reactivity was CD4(+)-associated, as shown by IFN-γ-release. (2) Two types of antigen-presenting cells (APCs) were tested for presentation of LAA/HA1-proteins to CD4(+)T-cells: miniEBV-transduced lymphoblastoid cells (B-cell-source) and CD4-depleted MNC (source for B-cell/monocyte/DC). We provide a refined cloning-system for proliferating, CD40L(+)CD4(+)T-cells after LAA/HA1-stimulation. CD4(+)T-cells produced cytokines (GM-CSF, IFN-γ) upon exposure to LAA/HA1-stimulation until after at least 7 restimulations and demonstrated cytotoxic activity against naive blasts, but not fibroblasts. Antileukemic activity of unstimulated, stimulated or cloned CD4(+)T-cells correlated with defined T-cell-subtypes and the clinical course of the disease. In conclusion we provide immunological tools to enrich and monitor LAA/HA1-CD4(+)- and CD8(+)T-cells in AML-pts after SCT and generate data with relevant prognostic value. We were able to demonstrate the presence of LAA-peptide-specific CD8(+)T-cell clones in AML-pts after SCT. In addition, we were also able to enrich specific antileukemic reactive CD4(+)T-cells without GvH-reactivity upon repeated LAA/HA1-protein stimulation and limiting dilution cloning.
    Immunobiology 10/2013; · 2.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Regulatory T cells (Treg) are important regulators of immune responses. In acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients before/after immunotherapy (stem cell transplantation or donor lymphocyte infusion), their suppressive role can contribute to suppress severe graft-versus-host reactions, but also to impair antileukemic reactions. As leukemia-derived dendritic cells (DCleu) are known to improve the antileukemic functionality of T cells, we evaluated the composition and development of distinct Treg subtypes in AML patients (n=12) compared with healthy probands (n=5) under unstimulated conditions and during stimulation with DCleu-containing DC (DC) or blast-containing mononuclear cells (MNC) in 0- to 7-day mixed lymphocyte cultures by flow cytometry. T-cell subgroups in AML patients were correlated with antileukemic functionality before and after DC or MNC stimulation by functional fluorolysis assays. (1) AML patients' T cells presented with significantly higher frequencies of Treg subgroups in unstimulated T cells compared with healthy probands. (2) After 7 days of DC or MNC stimulation, all Treg subtypes generally increased; significantly higher frequencies of Treg subtypes were still found in AML patients. (3) Antileukemic cytotoxicity was achieved in 36% of T cells after MNC compared with 64% after DC stimulation. Antileukemic activity after DC but not after MNC stimulation correlated with significantly lower frequencies of Treg subtypes (CD8Treg/Teff/em reg). Furthermore, cut-off values for Treg subpopulations could be defined, allowing a prediction of antileukemic response. We demonstrate a crucial role of special Treg subtypes in the mediation of antileukemic functionality. High CD8 Treg, Teff/em reg, and CD39 T cells correlated clearly with a reduced antileukemic activity of T cells. DC stimulation of T cells contributes to overcome impaired antileukemic T-cell reactivity. Refined analyses in the context of clinical responses to immunotherapies and graft versus host reactions are required.
    Journal of immunotherapy (Hagerstown, Md.: 1997) 05/2013; 36(4):223-37. · 3.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: T-cells play an important role in the remission-maintenance in AML-patients (pts) after SCT, however the role of LAA- (WT1, PR1, PRAME) or minor-histocompatibility (mHag, HA1) antigen-specific CD4+ and CD8+T-cells is not defined. A LAA/HA1-peptide/protein stimulation, cloning and monitoring strategy for specific CD8+/CD4+T-cells in AML-pts after SCT is given. Our results show that 1. LAA-peptide-specific CD8+T-cells are detectable in every AML-pt after SCT. CD8+T-cells, recognizing two different antigens detectable in 5 of 7 cases correlate with long-lasting remissions. Clonal TCR-Vß-restriction exemplarily proven by spectratyping in PRAME-specific CD8+T-cells; high PRAME-peptide-reactivity was CD4+-associated, as shown by IFN-γ-release. 2. Two types of antigen-presenting cells (APCs) were tested for presentation of LAA/HA1-proteinsto CD4+T-cells: miniEBV-transduced lymphoblastoid cells (B-cell-source) and CD4-depleted MNC (source for B-cell-/monocyte-/DC). We provide a refined cloning-system for proliferating, CD40L+CD4+T-cells after LAA/HA1-stimulation. CD4+T-cells produced cytokines (GM-CSF, IFN-γ) upon exposure to LAA/HA1-stimulation until after at least 7 restimulations and demonstrated cytotoxic activity against naive blasts, but not fibroblasts. Antileukemic activity of unstimulated, stimulated or cloned CD4+T-cells correlated with defined T-cell-subtypes and the clinical course of the disease. In conclusion we provide immunological tools to enrich and monitor LAA/HA1-CD4+- and CD8+T-cells in AML-pts after SCT and generate data with relevant prognostic value. We were able to demonstrate the presence of LAA-peptide-specific CD8+T-cell clones in AML-pts after SCT. In addition, we were also able to enrich specific antileukemic reactive CD4+T-cells without GvH-reactivity upon repeated LAA/HA1-protein stimulation and limiting dilution cloning.
    Immunobiology 01/2013; · 2.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Antileukemic-T-cell-responses, induced by leukemia-derived-dendritic-cells (DC(leu)) are variable, due to varying DC/DC(leu)-composition/quality. We studied DC/DC(leu)-composition/quality after blast-culture in four DC-media by flowcytometry (FC) and combined FISH/immunophenotyping-analysis(FISH-IPA). Both methods showed, that DC-methods produce variable proportions of DC-subtypes. 1)FISH-IPA is an elaborate method to study clonal aberrations in blast/DC-cells on slides, however without preselection of distinct cell-populations for FISH-analysis. 2)FISH-IPA-data proved previous FC-data: not every clonal/blast cell is converted to DC(leu) (resulting in various proportions of DC(leu)) and not every detectable DC is of clonal/leukemic origin. 3)Preselection of the best of four DC-methods for 'best' DC/DC(leu)-generation is necessary. 4)DC(leu)-proportions correlate with the antileukemic functionality of DC/DC(leu)-stimulated T-cells, thereby proving the necessity of studying quality of DC/DC(leu) after culture. 5)FC is the superior method to quantify DC/DC(leu), since a blast-phenotype is available in every given patient, even with low/no proportions of clonal aberrations, and can easily be used to study cellular compositions after DC-culture.
    Leukemia & lymphoma 11/2012; · 2.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Myeloid leukemic cells can be induced to differentiate into leukemia-derived dendritic cells (DC(leu)) regaining the stimulatory capacity of professional DCs while presenting the leukemic antigen repertoire. But so far, the induced antileukemic T-cell responses are variable both in specificity and in efficacy. In an attempt to elucidate the underlying causes of different T-cell response patterns, T-cell receptor (TR) Vβ chain rearrangements were correlated with the T cells corresponding immunophenotypic profile, as well as their proliferative response and cytolytic capacities. In three different settings, donor T cells, either human leukocyte antigen matched or mismatched (haploidentical), or autologous T cells were repeatedly stimulated with myeloid blasts or leukemia-derived DC/DC(leus) from the corresponding patients diseased from acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Although no significant differences in T-cell proliferation were observed, the T-cell-mediated cytolytic response pattern varied considerably and even caused blast proliferation in two cases. Spectratyping revealed a remarkable restriction (>75 % of normal level) of the CD4(+) or CD8(+)-TR repertoire of blast- or DC/DC(leu)-stimulated T cells. Although in absolute terms, DC/DC(leu) stimulation induced the highest grade of restriction in the CD8(+) T-cell subset, the CD4(+) T-cell compartment seemed to be relatively more affected. But most importantly, in vitro stimulation with DC/DC(leu) resulted into an identical TR restriction pattern (β chain) that could be identified in vivo in a patient sample 3 months after allo-SCT. Thus, in vitro tests combining functional flow cytometry with spectratyping might provide predictive information about T cellular response patterns in vivo.
    Clinical and Experimental Medicine 03/2012; · 2.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We studied the expressions of FR, FL, TR1, and TR2 on blasts and T cells from 71 patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and correlated expression rates with the clinical course. Compared to AML-blasts we found higher co-expressions on healthy myeloid and T cells. Expression of all markers on blasts and on T cells was similar in different subtypes and acute stages of AML. Compared to the non-responders (n = 7) responders to the AML Cooperative Group-therapy (n = 22) presented with higher proportions of blasts co-expressing the four markers (FR: 32 vs 15%; FL: 15 vs 13%; TR1: 72 vs 37%; TR2: 24 vs 23%) or T cells (FR: 88 vs 71%; FL: 76 vs 56%; TR1: 96 vs 44%; TR2: 54 vs 42%). Patients with higher expression rates of TR1 on blasts (≥ 48%) and on T cells (≥ 67%) were characterized by a prolonged survival. In summary, our data show a variable expression of FR, FL, TR1 and TR2 on blasts or T cells in different subgroups of AML. Higher co-expression rates of FR, FL, TR1 and TR2 were characterized by a better prognosis for the patients with respect to achieve a remission and to survive. Functional analyses should be performed to find out those patients in who induced upregulation of these markers could contribute to overcome drug resistance.
    Hematology (Amsterdam, Netherlands) 11/2011; 16(6):341-50. · 1.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Leukemia-derived dendritic cells (DC(leu)) potentially present the whole leukemic antigen repertoire. We studied antigen-expression profiles of blasts/dendritic cells (DCs) generated from 137 acute myeloid leukemia (AML)/49 myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) patients with six different DC-generating media by flow-cytometry combining expression of blast/maturation and DC antigens (DCA:CD1a,b,c, CD25, CD40, CD80, CD83, CD86, CD137-L and CD206). First, DCA are regularly and variably expressed on uncultured blasts/mononuclear cells (MNCs). Individual patients' DCA profiles must be evaluated before DC-culture to find suitable DCA to estimate quality/quantity of DC after culture. Second, after culture in every patient, at least one marker fulfilled these criteria. Third, different DC-generating methods showed varying efficiency to generate DC: not every method was always successful. Fourth, individual FACS-DCA profiles showed a successful DC/DC(leu) generation with at least one of three previously tested methods in every given AML/MDS case. Fifth, pooling results of all selected best methods in every given case, 28/30% DC were generated from AML/MDS samples: >60% viable DC, on average 49/56% mature DC and on average 36% of blasts were convertible to DC(leu) resulting in on average 49% DC(leu) of AML-DC. Individual DCA-expression profiles should be evaluated before culture to evaluate DC counts/subtypes (mature/viableDC, DC(leu)) in individual patients.
    Immunotherapy 09/2011; 3(9):1113-24. · 2.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Adoptive immunotherapy is an important therapy option to reduce relapse rates after stem-cell transplantation in patients suffering from acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes. Myeloid leukemic cells can regularly be induced to differentiate into leukemia-derived dendritic cells (DC(leu)), regaining the stimulatory capacity of professional dendritic cells (DCs) while presenting the known/unknown leukemic antigen repertoire. So far, induced antileukemic T-cell responses are variable or even mediate opposite effects. To further elicit DC/DC(leu)-induced T-cell-response patterns, we generated DC from 17 Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and 2 myelodysplastic syndrome cases and carried out flowcytometry and (functional) nonradioactive fluorolysis assays before/after mixed lymphocyte cultures of matched (allogeneic) donor T cells (n=6), T cells prepared at relapse after stem-cell transplantation (n=4) or (autologous) patients' T cells (n=7) with blast containing mononuclear cells ("MNC") or DC(leu) ("DC"). Compared with "MNC", "DC" were better mediators of antileukemic-activity, although not in every case effective. We could define DC subtypes and cut-off proportions of DC subtypes/qualities (mature DC/DC(leu)) after "DC" priming, which were predictive for an antileukemic activity of primed T cells and the clinical course of the disease after immunotherapy (allogeneic stem-cell transplantation/donor lymphocytes infusion/therapy). In summary, our data show that the composition and quality of DC after a mixed lymphocyte culture-priming phase is predictive for a successful ex vivo antileukemic response, especially with respect to proportions of mature and leukemia-derived DC. These data contribute not only to predict DC-mediated functions or the clinical course of the diseases but also to develop and refine DC-vaccination strategies that may pave the way to develop and modify adoptive immunotherapy, especially for patients at relapse after allogeneic stem-cell transplantation.
    Journal of immunotherapy (Hagerstown, Md.: 1997) 06/2010; 33(5):523-37. · 3.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Myeloid-leukemic cells (AML, MDS, CML) can be differentiated to leukemia-derived dendritic cell [DC (DCleu)] potentially presenting the whole leukemic antigen repertoire without knowledge of distinct leukemia antigens and are regarded as promising candidates for a vaccination strategy. We studied the capability of 6 serum-free DC culture methods, chosen according to different mechanisms, to induce DC differentiation in 137 cases of AML and 52 cases of MDS. DC-stimulating substances were cytokines ("standard-medium", "MCM-Mimic", "cytokine-method"), bacterial lysates ("Picibanil"), double-stranded RNA ["Poly (I:C)"] or a cytokine bypass method ("Ca-ionophore"). The quality/quantity of DC generated was estimated by flow cytometry studying (co) expressions of "DC"antigens, costimulatory, maturation, and blast-antigens. Comparing these methods on average 15% to 32% DC, depending on methods used, could be obtained from blast-containing mononuclear cells (MNC) in AML/MDS cases with a DC viability of more than 60%. In all, 39% to 64% of these DC were mature; 31% to 52% of leukemic blasts could be converted to DCleu and DCleu-proportions in the suspension were 2% to 70% (13%). Average results of all culture methods tested were comparable, however not every given case of AML could be differentiated to DC with 1 selected method. However performing a pre-analysis with 3 DC-generating methods (MCM-Mimic, Picibanil, Ca-ionophore) we could generate DC in any given case. Functional analyses provided proof, that DC primed T cells to antileukemia-directed cytotoxic cells, although an anti-leukemic reaction was not achieved in every case. In summary our data show that a successful, quantitative DC/DCleu generation is possible with the best of 3 previously tested methods in any given case. Reasons for different functional behaviors of DC-primed T cells must be evaluated to design a practicable DC-based vaccination strategy.
    Journal of immunotherapy (Hagerstown, Md.: 1997) 02/2010; 33(2):185-99. · 3.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Myeloid leukemic cells can differentiate into leukemia-derived dendritic cells (DC(leu)), presenting known/unknown leukemic-antigens. Induced anti-leukemic T-cell-responses are variable. To further elicit DC/DC(leu)-induced T-cell-response-patterns we performed (functional)flow-cytometry/fluorolysis-assays before/after mixed lymphocyte cultures (MLC) of matched (allogeneic) donor-T-cells (n=6), T-cells prepared at relapse after stem cell transplantation (n=4) or (autologous) patients'-T-cells (n=7) with blast-containing-mononuclear-cells ('MNC') or DC(leu)-containing DC ('DC'). Compared to 'MNC' 'DC' were better mediators of anti-leukaemic T-cell-activity, although not in every case effective. We could define cut-off proportions of mature DC, DC(leu), proliferating, CD4(+), CD8(+) and non-naive T-cells after 'MNC'- or 'DC'-stimulation, that were predictive for an anti-leukemic-activity of stimulated T-cells as well as a response to immunotherapy. Interestingly especially ratios >1 of CD4:CD8 or CD45RO:CD45RA T-cells were predictive for anti-leukemic function after DC-stimulation. In summary the composition and quality of DC and T-cells after a MLC-stimulating-phase is predictive for a successful ex-vivo and in-vivo anti-leukemic response, especially with respect to proportions of proliferating, CD4(+) and CD45RO(+) T-cells. Successful cytotoxicity and the development of a T-cell-memory after 'DC'-stimulation could be predictive for the clinical course of the disease and may pave the way to develop adoptive immunotherapy, especially for patients at relapse after SCT.
    Cellular Immunology 01/2010; 265(1):23-30. · 1.74 Impact Factor
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    Leukemia 07/2007; 21(6):1338-41. · 10.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is evidence to suggest, that cellular adhesion molecules and receptors could play a role in leukemia, e.g., through altered adhesive qualities of leukemic blasts. We have studied the expression of the beta2-integrin Mac-1 (CD11b) on mononuclear cells in 48 patients with AML at first diagnosis by flow cytometry using a direct fluorescein-conjugated antibody. A case was defined as positive if more than 20% of the cells expressed Mac-1. Within the FAB types, we observed a high expression rate in cases with M5 (100% MAC-1+ cases, 73% MAC-1+ cells), M4 (75% MAC-1+ cases, 48% MAC-1+ cells) and in cases with FAB-M1 with 71% MAC-1+ cases and 29% MAC-1+ cells. Separating our patients' cohort in cytogenetic risk groups, we could detect significant higher proportions of MAC-1+, cases (88% vs. 27%, P = 0.005) and cells (51% vs. 16%, P = 0.015) with poor cytogenetic risk compared to the favorable risk group. For clinical evaluations only patients treated according to the protocols of the German AML Cooperative Group (AML-CG) were included (n = 29, cases with AML-M3 were excluded). More MAC-1+ cases and cells were found in the "non-responders" group (n = 8) compared to the "responders" group (n = 24). We can conclude that AML cases with high MAC-1 expression are characterized by a worse prognosis. Evaluation of MAC-1 expression in AML might therefore contribute clinically important data with respect to develop new therapies that influence the interactions between integrins like MAC-1 on leukemic cells and endothelial or immunoreactive cells.
    American Journal of Hematology 05/2006; 81(4):227-35. · 4.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Poliovirus receptor-related (PRR) proteins belong to the Nectin-adhesion molecules' group, are expressed on endothelial cells and on CD34(+) stem cells and mediate the organization of endothelial and epithelial junctions. There is evidence to suggest, that those receptors could have a role in leukemia. We have studied the expression of PRR molecules PRR1 and PRR2 on mononuclear bone marrow (BM) cells of 55 patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) at first diagnosis by FACS-analysis using directly Phycoerythrin-labeled markers (PRR1 clone R1.302.12; PRR2 clone R2.477.1) in combination with other Fluorescein conjugated antibodies to evaluate the blast phenotype in AML. The leukemic gate included blasts and residual monocytes and lymphocytes. A case was defined as positive, if more than 20% of the gated cells expressed the regarding receptor. We could demonstrate, that on average 35% PRR1(+) or 45% PRR2(+) cells in AML were found. Within FAB-types we observed a high PRR1 expression in cases with M3 and M4 and lowest expressions in M0 and M5; a high PRR2 expression was found in cases with M3, M4, M5 and M1 and lowest expressions in M0 and M2. Separating our patients' cohorts in cytogenetic risk groups we could detect a significant higher proportion of PRR1(+) cases (73% vs. 25% of cases, P = 0.009) or PRR1(+) cells (57% vs. 18% of cases, P = 0.001) in the cytogenetic favorable risk vs. poor risk group (75% vs. 32% PRR2(+) cases). Moreover cut-off-values with a maximum probability for a significant differentiation between cases with higher or lower levels of these markers could be found: cases with >78% PRR1(+) and cases with >77% PRR2(+) cells were characterized by a tendency for longer relapse free survival times. Qui-square analyses showed, that 3 of 4 cases with FAB-type M3 (P = 0.03) or a favorable karyotype (P = 0.04) were found in the group with >7% PRR1(+) cells, due to only few cases available a similar correlation, however, could not be found in cases with >78% PRR2(+) cells. We can conclude, that blasts in AML regularly express PRR1 and PRR2. Cases with a high expression of PRR1 or PRR2 are characterized by a more favorable prognosis. With respect to the individual PRR-status the benefit of biological response modifiers as priming agents, differentiation mediators or factors influencing cellular metabolisms inducing factors can be discussed under a new point of view.
    European Journal Of Haematology 12/2005; 75(6):477-84. · 2.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Functional dendritic cells (DC) are professional antigen presenting cells (APC) and can be generated in vitro from leukemic cells from acute myeloid leukemia AML patients, giving rise to APC of leukemic origin presenting leukemic antigens (DC(leu)). We have already shown that DC can be successfully generated from AML and myeloplastic syndromes (MDS) cells in serum-free 'standard' medium (X-vivo + GM-CSF + IL-4 +TNFalpha + FL) in 10-14 days. In this study, we present that DC counts generated from mononuclear cells (MNC) varied between 20% (from 55 MDS samples), 34% (from 100 AML samples) and 25% (from 38 healthy MNC samples) medium. Between 53% and 58% of DC are mature CD83+ DC. DC harvests were highest in monocytoid FAB types (AML-M4/M5, MDS-CMML) and independent from cytogenetic risk groups, demonstrating that DC-based strategies can be applied for patients with all cytogenetic risk groups. Proof of the clonal derivation of DC generated was obtained in five AML and four MDS cases with a combined FISH/immunophenotype analysis (FISH-IPA): The clonal numerical chromosome aberrations of the diseases were regularly codetectable with DC markers; however, not with all clonal cells being convertible to leukemia-derived DC(leu) (on average, 53% of blasts in AML or MDS). To the contrary, not all DC generated carried the clonal aberration (on average, 51% of DC). In 41 AML and 13 MDS cases with a suitable antigen expression, we could confirm FISH-IPA data by Flow cytometry: although DC(leu) are regularly detectable, on average only 57% of blasts in AML and 64% of blasts in MDS were converted to DC(leu). After coculture with DC in mixed lymphocyte reactions (MLR), autologous T cells from AML and MDS patients proliferate and upregulate costimulatory receptors. The specific lysis of leukemic cells by autologous T cells could be demonstrated in three cases with AML in a Fluorolysis assay. In six cases with only few DC(leu) or few vital T cells available after the DC/MLR procedure, no lysis of allogeneic or autologous leukemic cells was seen, pointing to the crucial role of both partners in the lysis process. We conclude: (1) the generation of DC is regularly possible in AML and also in MDS under serum-free conditions. (2) Clonal/leukemia-derived DC(leu) can be regularly generated from MDS and AML-MNC; however, not with all blasts being converted to DC(leu) and not all DC generated carrying leukemic markers. We recommend to select DC(leu) for vaccinations or ex vivo T-cell activations to avoid contaminations with non-converted blasts and non-leukemia-derived DC and to improve the harvest of specific, anti-leukemic T cells. DC and DC-primed T cells could provide a practical strategy for the immunotherapy of AML and MDS.
    Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy 11/2005; 54(10):953-70. · 3.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Functional dendritic cells (DC) are professional antigen-presenting cells (APC) and can be generated in vitro from healthy as well as from leukaemic cells from AML patients giving rise to APC of leukaemic origin presenting leukaemic antigens. In a comparative methodological analysis of 50 AML samples, we could already show that leukaemia-derived DC can regularly be generated under serum-free culture conditions. In this study, we describe the generation and characterization of DC from different mononuclear cell (MNC) fractions from 24 myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) patients under those different serum-free culture conditions, determine the optimal culture conditions and compare the results with that from 23 healthy donors. In parallel cultures, we compared DC harvests after 7- or 14-day culture, with total or adherent MNC or T-cell-depleted MNC or PB or BM-MNC, thawn or fresh MNC, in Xvivo or CellGro serum-free media, +/-10% autologous plasma or +/-FL. In detail, we could show that MDS-DC harvests compared to healthy DC were higher after 10- to 14-day culture; total or adherent PB or BM-MNC fractions yield comparable DC counts; however, from MACS-depleted MNC fractions or thawn MNC lower DC counts can be generated. Whereas the addition of FL increases the DC harvest, the addition of autologous plasma in many cases has inhibitory influence on DC maturation, CellGro and Xvivo media yield comparable DC counts. Optimal harvest of vital and mature DC from MDS samples was obtained with a GM-CSF, IL-4, FL and TNF-alpha containing serum-free Xvivo medium after 10-14 days of culture (18/26% DC; 54/64% vital DC; 59/51% mature DC were generated from MDS/healthy MNC samples). Surface marker profiles (e.g. costimulatory antigen expression) of DC obtained from MDS samples were comparable with that of healthy DC. The leukaemic derivation of MDS-DC was demonstrated by the persistence of the clonal cytogenetic aberration in the DC or by coexpression of leukaemic antigens on DC. Autologous T-cell activation of leukaemia-derived DC was demonstrated in cases with MDS. Autologous T cells proliferate and upregulate DC-contact-relevant antigens. We are the first who demonstrate that the generation of leukaemia-derived DC is feasible not only in AML but also in MDS under serum-free culture conditions giving rise to DC with comparable characteristics as healthy DC and offering an antileukaemia-directed immunotherapeutical vaccination strategy in AML and MDS.
    Scandinavian Journal of Immunology 08/2005; 62(1):75-85. · 2.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Functional dendritic cells (DC) are professional antigen-presenting cells (APC) and can be generated in vitro from healthy as well as from leukaemic cells from acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients giving rise to APC of leukaemic origin-presenting leukaemic antigens. We describe the generation and characterization of DC from different mononuclear cell (MNC) fractions from 50 AML patients under different serum-free culture conditions, determine the optimal culture conditions and compare the results with that from 23 healthy donors. In parallel cultures, we compared DC harvests after 7- or 14-day culture, with total or adherent MNC or T-cell depleted MNC or peripheral blood (PB) or bone marrow-MNC (BM-MNC), thawn or fresh MNC, in Xvivo or CellGro serum-free media, +/-10% autologous plasma or +/-FL. In detail, we could show that AML-DC harvests were higher after 10-14 days culture (healthy DC: 7 days); total or adherent PB or BM-MNC fractions yield comparable DC counts, however, from magnetic cell sorting (MACS)-depleted MNC fractions or thawn MNC lower DC counts can be generated. Whereas the addition of FL increases the DC harvest, the addition of autologous plasma in many cases has inhibitory influence on DC maturation. CellGro and Xvivo media yield comparable DC counts. Optimal harvest of vital and mature DC from AML samples was obtained with a granulocyte/macrophage-colony stimulating factor, interleukin-4, FL and tumour necrosis factor-alpha-containing serum-free Xvivo medium after 10-14 days of culture (36/26% DC; 38/64% vital DC; 46/51% mature DC were generated from AML/healthy MNC samples). Surface marker profiles (e.g. costimulatory antigen expressing) of DC obtained from AML samples were comparable with that of healthy DC. The leukaemic derivation of AML-DC was demonstrated by the persistence of the clonal cytogenetic aberration in the DC or by coexpression of leukaemic antigens on DC. Autologous T-cell activation of leukaemia-derived DC was demonstrated in cases with AML. Autologous T cells proliferate and upregulate DC-contact-relevant antigens. We demonstrate that the generation of leukaemia-derived DC is feasable in AML under serum-free culture conditions giving rise to DC with comparable characteristics as healthy DC and offering an anti-leukaemia-directed immunotherapeutical vaccination strategy in AML.
    Scandinavian Journal of Immunology 08/2005; 62(1):86-98. · 2.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Costimulatory molecules such as lymphocyte function-associated antigen (LFA)-1 (CD11a), LFA-3 (CD58), intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 (CD54), neuronal cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) (CD56), B7-1 (CD80), or B7-2 (CD86) are important regulatory elements in healthy immunological cascades, but their role in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has only been rarely investigated. We studied their expression on mononuclear bone marrow (BM) cells from 105 patients with AML at initial diagnosis and evaluated their prognostic significance. Fluorescence-activated cell sorter (FACS) analyses were performed using antibodies directly conjugated with fluorescein. A BM sample was considered positive if more than 20% of the cells in the blast containing gate expressed the respective marker. The surface expression of CD11a (27 of 29 cases positive with an average of 71% positive blasts; 27(+)/29, 71%), CD54 (23(+)/33, 37%), CD56 (24(+)/93, 20%), CD58 (29(+)/29, 95%), CD80 (13(+)/28, 30%), and CD86 (19(+)/29, 39%) was measured. The expression of these markers in different French-American-British (FAB) classification types (M0-M5) was heterogeneous, except for CD56, which showed a higher proportion of positive cells in monocytic subtypes of AML. In addition, cases with a "poor risk" karyotype as well as patients succumbing to "early death" after double induction therapy according to the AML Cooperative Group (CG) protocol were characterized by a high expression of CD56. Relapse-free survival analyses demonstrated that patients with more than 8% CD56(+) cells in the BM relapsed significantly sooner. CD54 was preferentially expressed in AML M4(eo) and in addition in "favorable" cytogenetic risk groups and in cases that had responded to AML-CG therapy. Only very high proportions (>60%) of CD54(+) cells were associated with a lower probability for relapse-free survival. CD80 and CD86 expressions were similar in all FAB types. Patients who had responded to AML-CG therapy showed higher CD80 proportions and lower CD86 proportions compared to the "nonresponder" group. Whereas cases with more than 15% CD80(+) cells had a significantly lower probability for relapse-free survival, only cases with more than 65% CD86(+) were characterized by a significantly lower probability for relapse-free survival. Expression profiles of CD11a and CD58 were not associated with specific FAB types or prognostically relevant groups. We can conclude: (1) Expression of costimulatory molecules in AML is very variable. This reflects the great diversity of immunophenotypes in AML. (2) CD56 is mainly expressed in monocytic subtypes of AML. CD56(+) subtypes of AML seem to be a separate entity with a worse prognosis independent of the karyotype. (3) High expression of some costimulatory molecules correlates with a worse prognosis concerning relapse-free survival times.
    Annals of Hematology 05/2005; 84(5):287-97. · 2.87 Impact Factor
  • European Journal of Cancer 01/2001; 37. · 5.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recently it was shown that myeloid leukemic cells can be induced to differentiate into leukemia-derived dendritic cells (DCleu), regaining the stimulatory capacity of professional DCs while presenting the leukemic antigen repertoire. But so far, the induced antileukemic T-cell responses have varied in specificity and efficacy, or have even mediated opposite effects. In an attempt to further characterize the DC/DCleu induced T-cell response pattern, immunoscope spectratyping, a novel and powerful tool to detect T-cell receptor (TCR) rearrangements was used in combination with functional flow cytometry and non-radioactive fluorolysis assays. Human leucocyte antigen (HLA) matched donor T-cells were repeatedly stimulated, either with leukemic blasts (French-American-British, FAB M4eo) or the corresponding blast-derived DCs. Functional comparison revealed no significant difference in their T-cell stimulatory capacity, while the DC/DCleu fraction favored T-cells with a higher lytic activity, comprising a higher proportion of T-memory CD45R0+ cells. Stimulation with blasts and DC/DCleu induced a similar TCR restriction pattern, while stimulation with DC/DCleu favored the CD4 T-cell subset and seemed to cause a higher grade of restriction. In conclusion, a combined strategy using spectratyping with functional tests might not only provide useful information about the specificity and efficacy of the induced T-cell response, but also pave the way to gain effective T-cell clones for therapeutic use.
    Cancer genomics & proteomics 5(5):275-86.