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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2016, Article ID 5740373, 12 pages
Review Article

Pathogen-Associated Molecular Patterns Induced Crosstalk between Dendritic Cells, T Helper Cells, and Natural Killer Helper Cells Can Improve Dendritic Cell Vaccination

1Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology, Maastricht University Medical Centre+, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, Netherlands
2Tissue Typing Laboratory, Department of Transplantation Immunology, Maastricht University Medical Centre+, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, Netherlands

Received 16 October 2015; Accepted 30 December 2015

Academic Editor: Evelien Smits

Copyright © 2016 Tammy Oth 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.


A coordinated cellular interplay is of crucial importance in both host defense against pathogens and malignantly transformed cells. The various interactions of Dendritic Cells (DC), Natural Killer (NK) cells, and T helper (Th) cells can be influenced by a variety of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and will lead to enhanced CD8+ effector T cell responses. Specific Pattern Recognition Receptor (PRR) triggering during maturation enables DC to enhance Th1 as well as NK helper cell responses. This effect is correlated with the amount of IL-12p70 released by DC. Activated NK cells are able to amplify the proinflammatory cytokine profile of DC via the release of IFN-γ. The knowledge on how PAMP recognition can modulate the DC is of importance for the design and definition of appropriate therapeutic cancer vaccines. In this review we will discuss the potential role of specific PAMP-matured DC in optimizing therapeutic DC-based vaccines, as some of these DC are efficiently activating Th1, NK cells, and cytotoxic T cells. Moreover, to optimize these vaccines, also the inhibitory effects of tumor-derived suppressive factors, for example, on the NK-DC crosstalk, should be taken into account. Finally, the suppressive role of the tumor microenvironment in vaccination efficacy and some proposals to overcome this by using combination therapies will be described.