Intravenous injection of naked DNA encoding secreted flt3 ligand dramatically increases the number of dendritic cells and natural killer cells in vivo

Yukai He, Alexei A. Pimenov, Jayakar V. Nayak, Jeff Plowey, Louis D. Falo, Leaf Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

67 Scopus citations

Abstract

The trace number of dendritic cells (DCs) present in tissues has limited the study of DC biology and development of clinical applications utilizing DCs. Here we show that hydrodynamics-based gene delivery of naked DNA encoding secreted human flt3 ligand (hFLex) can dramatically increase the number of functional DCs and natural killer (NK) cells. After a single injection of the hFLex gene, hFLex levels in mouse serum reached approximately 40 μg/ml and remained above 1 μg/ml for 5-6 days. Sustained levels of serum hFLex correlated with significant increases in the size of the lymphoid organs and in the proportion of dendritic cells and NK cells in both lymph nodes and spleen. The increase in DC and NK cell numbers started from day 5, and reached peak levels between day 8 and day 12. The levels then returned to normal on day 20. These DCs and NK cells were functional as evidenced by mixed leukocyte reactions and lysis of YAC-1 cells, respectively. These results suggest that delivery of the hFLex gene provides a simple, efficient, and inexpensive way of increasing DC and NK cell populations in vivo, and may have broad applications in the further study of DC and NK cell biology and in the development of immunotherapy strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-554
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Gene Therapy
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 16 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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