Ascorbic acid supports ex vivo generation of plasmacytoid dendritic cells from circulating hematopoietic stem cells
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjoneLIFE. 2021, 10 1-21. 10.7554/eLife.65528
Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) constitute a rare type of immune cell with multifaceted functions, but their potential use as a cell-based immunotherapy is challenged by the scarce cell numbers that can be extracted from blood. Here, we systematically investigate culture parameters for generating pDCs from hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs). Using optimized conditions combined with implementation of HSPC pre-expansion, we generate an average of 465 million HSPC-derived pDCs (HSPC-pDCs) starting from 100,000 cord blood-derived HSPCs. Furthermore, we demonstrate that such protocol allows HSPC-pDC generation from whole-blood HSPCs, and these cells display a pDC phenotype and function. Using GMP-compliant medium, we observe a remarkable loss of TLR7/9 responses, which is rescued by ascorbic acid supplementation. Ascorbic acid induces transcriptional signatures associated with pDC-specific innate immune pathways, suggesting an undescribed role of ascorbic acid for pDC functionality. This constitutes the first protocol for generating pDCs from whole blood and lays the foundation for investigating HSPC-pDCs for cell-based immunotherapy.