Interleukin-4 Enhances Trafficking and Functional Activities of GM-CSF-Stimulated Mouse Myeloid-Derived Dendritic Cells at Late Differentiation Stage

Mouse bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) are being employed as an important model for translational research into the development of DC-based therapeutics. For such use, the localization and specialized mobility of injected BMDCs within specific immune tissues are known to define their immunity and usefulness in vivo. In this study, we demonstrate that IL-4, a key driving factor for in vitro propagation and differentiation of BMDCs, when added during a late culture stage can enhance the in vivo trafficking activity of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF)-induced BMDCs. It suggests that the temporal control of IL-4 stimulation during the in vitro generation of DCs drastically affects the DC trafficking efficiency in vivo. With this modification of IL-4 stimulation, we also show that much less cytokine was needed to generate BMDCs with high purity and yield that secrete a high level of cytokines and possess a good capacity to induce proliferation of allogeneic CD4+ T cells, as compared to the conventional method that uses a continuous supplement of GM-CSF and IL-4 throughout cultivation. These results provide us with an important know-how for differentiation of BMDCs from myeloid stem cells, and for use of other immune cells in related medical or stem cell applications.