Impact of culture medium on maturation of bone marrow-derived murine dendritic cells via the aryl hydrocarbon receptor

Anne Ilchmann, Maren Krause, Monika Heilmann, Sven Burgdorf, Stefan Vieths, Masako Toda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) plays a role in modulating dendritic cell (DC) immunity. Iscove's modified Dulbecco's medium (IMDM) contains higher amounts of AhR ligands than RPMI1640 medium. Here, we examined the influence of AhR ligand-containing medium on the maturation and T-cell stimulatory capacity of bone marrow-derived murine dendritic cells (BMDCs). BMDCs generated in IMDM (BMDCs/IMDM) expressed higher levels of co-stimulatory and MHC class II molecules, and lower levels of pattern-recognition receptors, especially toll-like receptor (TLR) 2, TLR4, and scavenger receptor class A (SR-A), compared to BMDCs generated in RPMI1640 medium (BMDCs/RPMI). Cytokine responses against ligands of TLRs and antigen uptake mediated by SR-A were remarkably reduced in BMDCs/IMDM, whereas the T-cell stimulatory capacity of the cells was enhanced, compared to BMDCs/RPMI. The enhanced maturation of BMDCs/IMDM was attenuated in the presence of an AhR antagonist, indicating involvement of AhR in the maturation. Interestingly, BMDCs/IMDM induced Th2 and Th17 differentiation at low and high concentrations of antigen respectively, when co-cultured with CD4+ T-cells from antigen-specific T-cell receptor transgenic mice. In contrast, BMDCs/RPMI induced Th1 differentiation predominantly in the co-culture. Taken together, optimal selection of medium seems necessary when studying BMDCs, depending on the target receptors on the cell surface of DCs and type of helper T-cells for the co-culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-50
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012 May
Externally publishedYes


  • Aryl hydrocarbon receptor
  • Dendritic cells
  • Scavenger receptors
  • Toll-like receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Molecular Biology


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