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Biomed Res Ther. 2015; 2(11): 402-408

Production of dendritic cells and cytokine-induced killer cells from banked umbilical cord blood samples

Phuc Van Pham, Binh Thanh Vu, Viet Quoc Pham, Phong Minh Le, Hanh Thi Le, Ngoc Kim Phan.


Umbilical cord blood (UCB) is considered to be a source of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). All UCB banks have recently become interested in the isolation and storage of HSCs for the treatment of hematological diseases. However, UCB was also recently confirmed as a source of immune cells for immunotherapy such as dendritic cells (DCs) and cytokine-induced killer cells (CIKs). This study aimed to exploit this source of immune cells in banked UCB samples. After collection of UCB samples, mononuclear cells (MNCs) containing stem cells, progenitor cells, and mature cells were isolated by Ficoll-Hypaque-based centrifugation. The MNCs were subjected to freezing and thawing according to a previously published protocol. The banked MNCs were used to produce DCs and CIKs. To produce DCs, MNCs were induced in RPMI 1640 medium supplemented with GM-CSF (50 ng/ml) and IL-4 (40 ng/ml) for 14 days. To produce CIKs, MNCs were induced in RPMI 1640 medium supplemented an anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody, IL-3, and GMC-SF for 21–28 days. Both DCs and CIKs were evaluated for their phenotypes and functions according to previously published protocols. The results showed that banked UCB samples can be successfully used to produce functional DCs and CIKs. These samples are valuable sources of immune cells for immunotherapy. The present results suggest that banked UCB samples are useful not only for stem cell isolation, but also for immune cell production.

Key words: Banked UCB, Stem cells, Immune cells, Dendritic cells, Cytokine-induced killer cells, Immunotherapy

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