Direct reprogramming of fibroblasts into antigen-presenting dendritic cells

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Science Immunology  07 Dec 2018:
Vol. 3, Issue 30, eaau4292
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aau4292

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  • RE: Direct reprogramming of fibroblasts into antigen-presenting dendritic cells
    • Dianne Sika-Paotonu, Associate Dean (Pacific)/Senior Lecturer Pathology & Molecular Medicine, Wellington School of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Otago, New Zealand

    To the Editor,

    I read with keen interest the research article authored by Rosa, F.F et al. (1) and entitled: “Direct reprogramming of fibroblasts into antigen-presenting dendritic cells.”

    This work demonstrated that specific fibroblast populations could be reprogrammed using a combination of three specific transcription factors (PU.1, IRF8 and BATF3) to generate induced dendritic cell populations (iDC’s) capable of APC activity.

    Among the functions described, these iDC’s were shown to be capable of antigen presentation to CD4+ T cells and cross-presentation to CD8+ T cells. The iDC populations had adopted a conventional DC type-1 like transcriptional programme and were able to release inflammatory cytokines, and respond to TLR stimulation by specific TLR agonists.

    Further work to characterise the in-vivo behaviour, activity and function of these iDC’s will be important for the next stages of development of this methodology. The in-vivo stability, life span, phenotypic characteristics, migration capability, ability to release and respond to cytokines and signalling molecules, ability to present and cross present antigen to T cells, generate efficient and effective T cell populations, perform phagocytosis and interact and engage appropriately with other cells, are just a few areas that will require investigation.

    Collectively the transcriptional factor-based reprogramming methodology described in this work highlights a promising and exc...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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