Functional characterization of equine dendritic cells propagated ex vivo using recombinant human GM-CSF and recombinant equine IL-4

Scott A. Hammond, David Horohov, Ronald C. Montelaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Naive T cells can be activated both in vivo and in vitro by specialized antigen presenting cells, dendritic cells (DC), with potent antigen-specific, immunostimulatory activity. Indeed, DC can provide an extremely powerful and important immunological tool by which to potentiate the immune response for specific recognition of foreign antigens. Until recently, the direct isolation of DC from PBMC required laborious procedures with extremely poor yields (<0.1%). Methods have been developed for the human, lower primate, and murine model systems to propagate large numbers of DC from PBMC or bone marrow ex vivo with various cytokines. However, all other model systems, including equine, still require the laborious isolation procedures to obtain DC. In this study, we have adapted the methods developed for the human system to generate large numbers of equine DC from PBMC precursors using recombinant human GM-CSF and recombinant equine IL-4. Our report is the first documentation of ex vivo generated DC from PBMC in a domesticated animal model system. Equine DC derived from PBMC were rigorously characterized by analyzing morphological, phenotypic, and functional properties and were determined to have similar attributes as DC generated from human PBMC. Equine DC appeared stellate with large projectiles and veils and had cell surface antigens at similar levels as those defined on human and murine DC. Furthermore, functional attributes of the DC included rapidly capturing antigens by pinocytosis, receptor-mediated endocytosis, and phagocytosis, activating naive T cells in a mixed leukocyte reaction to a much greater extent than macrophage or lymphoblasts, presenting soluble and particulate antigen 10-100 fold more effectively to T cells on a per cell basis than macrophage or lymphoblasts, and presenting soluble and particulate antigen to both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Taken together, our study provides a framework by which equine DC can now be readily produced from PBMC precursors and presents an impetus for and model by which DC can be simply generated in other animal model systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-214
Number of pages18
JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Nov 30 1999

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by NIH grant 5RO1 AI25850 from the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease. S.A.H. was supported by NIH AIDS training grant 5T32 AI07487. Equine IL-4 cloning and expression was supported by a grant from the NIH Idea Program at the Lousiana State University Equine Veterinary Resources Program.


  • Antigen presentation
  • Dendritic cell
  • EIAV
  • Equine
  • IL-4
  • T lymphocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Veterinary (all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Functional characterization of equine dendritic cells propagated ex vivo using recombinant human GM-CSF and recombinant equine IL-4'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this