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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2015, Article ID 952184, 9 pages
Research Article

Electroporated Antigen-Encoding mRNA Is Not a Danger Signal to Human Mature Monocyte-Derived Dendritic Cells

1Department of Dermatology, Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany
2Department of Genetics, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany
3Department of Oncology, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milan, Italy
4Department of Neurosciences, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health, University of Florence, Florence, Italy

Received 24 September 2015; Accepted 1 December 2015

Academic Editor: Smita Nair

Copyright © 2015 Stefanie Hoyer et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


For therapeutic cancer vaccination, the adoptive transfer of mRNA-electroporated dendritic cells (DCs) is frequently performed, usually with monocyte-derived, cytokine-matured DCs (moDCs). However, DCs are rich in danger-sensing receptors which could recognize the exogenously delivered mRNA and induce DC activation, hence influencing the DCs’ immunogenicity. Therefore, we examined whether electroporation of mRNA with a proper cap and a poly-A tail of at least 64 adenosines had any influence on cocktail-matured moDCs. We used 16 different RNAs, encoding tumor antigens (MelanA, NRAS, BRAF, GNAQ, GNA11, and WT1), and variants thereof. None of those RNAs induced changes in the expression of CD25, CD40, CD83, CD86, and CD70 or the secretion of the cytokines IL-8, IL-6, and TNFα of more than 1.5-fold compared to the control condition, while an mRNA encoding an NF-B-activation protein as positive control induced massive secretion of the cytokines. To determine whether mRNA electroporation had any effect on the whole transcriptome of the DCs, we performed microarray analyses of DCs of 6 different donors. None of 60,000 probes was significantly different between mock-electroporated DCs and MelanA-transfected DCs. Hence, we conclude that no transcriptional programs were induced within cocktail-matured DCs by electroporation of single tumor-antigen-encoding mRNAs.