Flt3 ligand bioactivity and pharmacology in neoplasia.

A. J. Reber, A. E. Ashour, S. N. Robinson, J. E. Talmadge, J. C. Solheim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 ligand (Flt3L) has multiple effects on the hematopoietic and immune systems. Further, preclinical studies have suggested potential therapeutic activity against cancer. Flt3L is a potent hematopoietic cytokine, capable of stimulating the expansion and differentiation of hematopoietic progenitor and stem cells. Administration of Flt3L mobilizes hematopoietic cells from the bone marrow (BM) into the blood, lymphoid organs, and parenchymal tissues. This mobilization activity, especially effective in combination with granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF), has stimulated studies of Flt3L in hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation. In addition to its effects on hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, Flt3L has been shown to increase the frequency and number of dendritic cells (DCs) within the circulatory system and solid organs. DC expansion by Flt3L has been the focus of preclinical and clinical studies on antigen (Ag) specific T-cell mediated immunity. The mechanism for the augmentation of T-cell mediated immunity has yet to be completely identified, although Flt3L's ability to expand DCs in lymphoid and non-lymphoid tissues is involved. This expansion occurs primarily with DCs, which secrete interleukin (IL) 12. Consistent with the expansion of this DC population, treatment with Flt3L enhances T-cell mitogenesis and preferentially induces type 1 T-cell responses. However, the DCs resulting from Flt3L administration are immature, leading in some studies to the induction of tolerance. This review focuses on the effects of Flt3L on DCs and other effector populations, and on its potential activity as a therapeutic agent for cancer, alone and in combination with vaccines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-156
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent drug targets. Immune, endocrine and metabolic disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Immunology and Allergy

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