Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Tissue Engineering and Applied Cell Sciences, School of Medicine, Semnan, Iran

2 Razi Herbal Medicines Research Center, Lorestan University of Medical Sciences, Khorramabad, Iran

3 Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background: Dendritic cells (DCs) contribute essentially to the outset and course of immune responses. So in patients with malignancy, there have been considerable interests in use of these cells in different interventions. Objective: To evaluate the impact of Leishmania major’s components on DC maturation and their use as a therapeutic agent against tumor cells. Methods: The cancer model was induced by injection of WEHI-164 cells (BALB/c derived fibrosarcoma cell line) subcutaneously in the right flank of animals. Bone-marrow derived DCs (BMDCs) were cultured with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and IL-4. After 5 days, tumor lysate, Leishmania major’s lysate, and Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) were added to the culture and incubated for 2 days. IL-12 production in DCs was measured by ELISA. For Immunotherapy, Mice received DCs subcutaneously around the tumor site. Two weeks after DCs injection, cytotoxicity assay and infiltration of CD8+ lymphocytes were evaluated. Results: Our results showed that immunotherapy with dendritic cells exposed to Leishmania extract led to producing a higher amount of IL-12, compare to the control group. A considerable increment in specific cytotoxic T cells activity, diminished tumor growth rate and improved survival of immunized animals were seen. Conclusion: This study indicates that the use of Leishmania major extract, as well as LPS, can enhance the efficiency of DC-based vaccines and provides a basis for the use of Leishmania major in DC-targeted clinical therapies.