Product(s) used in this publication: PepMix™ Peptide Pools
We describe a method of rendering polyclonal cytokine-induced killer cells (CIK) specific against cytomegalovirus (CMV), focusing on GMP compliance. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMNC) are stimulated with pooled CMV peptides pp65 and IE-1 for 16-24 h and the reactive T cell subset which up-regulate CD137 is further co-stimulated with anti-CD137, followed by expansion in G-Rex flasks under standard CIK culture condition. This method generates a large number CMV-specific CIK with superior potency compared to published method currently in clinical trials. The cytotoxicity as measured by chromium release assay correlates with the upregulation of CD107a upon peptide re-challenge as measured by flow cytometry. CMV-CIK at maturity consist of mainly late effector memory CD8 T cells and have a skewed TCR repertoire with preferential expansion of a few families. Such CMV-CIK retain their function after freezing and thawing. CMV-CIK thus generated is ready for clinical trial against drug-resistant CMV disease.