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"Using state-of-the-art computer-assisted models, we were able to show that mo DCs differ from dendritic cells and present a mixture of cells with very diverse properties and functions," explains lead author Jil Sander from the LIMES Institute.
"Mo DCs have an extraordinarily large plasticity, enabling them to tailor their response to pathogens, tumors or endogenous danger signals.
They recognize foreign structures of invaders, pick them up and present them to other immune cells to strengthen the targeted defense. Schlitzer together with their colleagues from the LIMES Institute, the Institute of Innate Immunity of University Hospital Bonn, the cluster of excellence Immuno Sensation at University of Bonn, from Stanford University (USA) and the Singapore Immunology Network (Singapore) researched the properties of these special cells.
Immunotherapy is effective only for a small proportion of patients "Only a small proportion of patients respond to therapy with mo DCs, whilst very little effect is seen in the vast majority of patients," says Dr. Using human blood, the scientists extracted monocytes which they transformed into a large variety of antigen-presenting cells and analyzed using state-of-the-art methods.
They most closely resemble immune cells that occur in inflammation.
This finding is important for the further development of tailor-made immunotherapies for combating tumor cells.