Exposure to the antimicrobial peptide LL-37 produces dendritic cells optimized for immunotherapy

Emily Gwyer Findlay, Andrew J. Currie, Ailiang Zhang, Jana Ovciarikova, Lisa Young, Holly Stevens, Brian J. McHugh, Marta Canel, Mohini Gray, Simon W.F. Milling, John D.M. Campbell, John Savill, Alan Serrels, Donald J. Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Immunization of patients with autologous, ex vivo matured dendritic cell (DC) preparations, in order to prime antitumor T-cell responses, is the focus of intense research. Despite progress and approval of clinical approaches, significant enhancement of these personalized immunotherapies is urgently needed to improve efficacy. We show that immunotherapeutic murine and human DC, generated in the presence of the antimicrobial host defense peptide LL-37, have dramatically enhanced expansion and differentiation of cells with key features of the critical CD103+/CD141+ DC subsets, including enhanced cross-presentation and co-stimulatory capacity, and upregulation of CCR7 with improved migratory capacity. These LL-37-DC enhanced proliferation, activation and cytokine production by CD8+ (but not CD4+) T cells in vitro and in vivo. Critically, tumor antigen-presenting LL-37-DC increased migration of primed, activated CD8+ T cells into established squamous cell carcinomas in mice, and resulted in tumor regression. This advance therefore has the potential to dramatically enhance DC immunotherapy protocols.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Early online date1 May 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 May 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Exposure to the antimicrobial peptide LL-37 produces dendritic cells optimized for immunotherapy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this