Comparison of media for a human peripheral blood mononuclear cell-based in vitro vaccine evaluation system.

Shuran Gong, Putri Fajar, Jacqueline De Vries-Idema, Anke Huckriede*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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PURPOSE: Human peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC)-based in vitro systems can be of great value in the development and assessment of vaccines but require the right medium for optimal performance of the different cell types present. Here, we compare three commonly used media for their capacity to support innate and adaptive immune responses evoked in PBMCs by Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands and whole inactivated virus (WIV) influenza vaccine.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Human PBMCs were cultured for different periods of time in Roswell Park Memorial Institute (RPMI), Dulbecco's minimal essential medium (DMEM), or Iscove's modified DMEM (IMDM) supplemented with 10% fetal calf serum. The viability of the cells was monitored and their responses to TLR ligands and WIV were assessed.

RESULTS: With increasing days of incubation, the viability of PBMCs cultured in RPMI or IMDM was slightly higher than that of cells cultured in DMEM. Upon exposure of the PBMCs to TLR ligands and WIV, RPMI was superior to the other two media in terms of supporting the expression of genes related to innate immunity, such as the TLR adaptor protein gene MyD88 (myeloid differentiation factor 88), the interferon (IFN)-stimulated genes MxA (myxovirus resistance protein 1) and ISG56 (interferon-stimulated gene 56), and the leukocyte recruitment chemokine gene MCP1 (monocyte chemoattractant protein-1). RPMI also performed best with regard to the activation of antigen-presenting cells. As for adaptive immunity, when stimulated with WIV, PBMCs cultured in RPMI or IMDM contained higher numbers of IFNγ-producing T cells and secreted more immunoglobulin G than PBMCs cultured in DMEM.

CONCLUSION: Taken together, among the different media assessed, RPMI was identified as the optimal medium for a human PBMC-based in vitro vaccine evaluation system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-336
Number of pages9
JournalClinical and experimental vaccine research
Issue number4
Early online date31-Oct-2023
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2023


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