Current established protocols for the in vitro expansion of T cells face several problems like induction of apoptosis by stimulation of the T cell receptor complex (TCR), expansion of only subpopulations of CD4+ T cells or unwanted release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. The present method for expansion of T cells in vitro leads to a remarkable expansion of those T cells in complete absence of anti-CD3 antibodies and superagonistic anti-CD28 monoclonal antibodies. Hereby, the engagement of TCR is avoided and an unbiased expansion of T cell, in particular CD4+ T cell, subsets is achieved. The unbiased expansion of CD4+ T cells is reflected by maintained responsiveness of the expanded CD4+ T cells towards polyclonal stimuli and antigenic recall antigens in comparison to non-expanded CD4+ T cells.
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