Mutz-3-derived Langerhans cells are a model to study HIV-1 transmission and potential inhibitors.
Many human myeloid leukemia–derived cell lines possess the ability to acquire a dendritic cell (DC) phenotype. However, cytokine responsiveness is generally poor, requiring direct manipulation of intracellular signaling mechanisms for differentiation. In contrast, the CD34 human acute myeloid leukemia cell line MUTZ-3 responds to granulocyte macrophage– colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), interleukin 4 (IL-4), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF ), cytokines known to be pivotal both in vivo and in vitro for DC generation from monocytes and CD34 stem cells. In all respects, MUTZ-3 cells behave as the immortalized equivalent of CD34 DC precursors. Upon stimulation with specific cytokine cocktails, they acquire a phenotype consistent with either interstitialor Langerhans-like DCs and upon maturation (mDC), express CD83. MUTZ-3 DC display the full range of functional antigen processing and presentation pathways. These findings demonstrate the unique suitability of MUTZ-3 cells as an unlimited source of CD34 DC progenitors for the study of cytokineinduced DC differentiation. (Blood. 2002; 100:701-703)