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Differential effects of myeloid dendritic cells retrovirally transduced to express mammalian or viral interleukin-10 on cytotoxic T lymphocyte and natural killer cell functions and resistance to tumor growth

T Takayama, H Tahara, A W Thomson
Transplantation 2001 May 15, 71 (9): 1334-40
11397973

BACKGROUND: Genetic engineering of dendritic cells (DC) to express immunosuppressive molecule(s) offers potential for therapy of allograft rejection and autoimmune disease. Viral (v) interleukin (IL)-10, encoded by the Epstein-Barr virus, is highly homologous to mammalian (m) IL-10, but lacks certain of its T-cell stimulatory activities. Our aim was to evaluate and compare the influence of vIL-10 and mIL-10 gene transfer on the T-cell and natural killer (NK) cell stimulatory activity of DC, and their impact on the growth of transplantable tumors.

METHODS: Myeloid DC progenitors, propagated from the bone marrow of C57BL/6J (H2b) mice in granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor + IL-4, were transduced using retroviral supematant from the BOSC ecotropic packaging cell line. The function of the IL-b gene-modified DC was assessed by examining their ability to induce naive allogeneic T-cell proliferation and cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) generation. MCA205 (H2b) sarcoma cells mixed with either vIL-10-, mIL-10-, or Zeo (control gene)-transduced DC were inoculated intradermally into C57BL/6J (syngeneic) or BALB/cJ (H2d) (allogeneic) recipients, which were monitored for tumor growth. The role of specific host effector cell populations in tumor resistance was determined by antibody depletion.

RESULTS: Compared with control gene-modified DC, both vIL-10- and mIL-10-transduced DC, which secreted the transgene product, showed reduced surface expression of MHC class II and costimulatory molecules, and impaired ability to induce T-cell proliferation. vIL-10-transduced DC were also inhibited with respect to CTL induction but did not affect the generation of NK cells. By contrast, mIL-10-transduced DC augmented CTL generation and NK cell activity. In the tumor transplant model, vIL-10-transduced DC enhanced tumor growth both in syngeneic and allogeneic hosts, whereas mIL-10-transduced cells inhibited tumor development. Depletion of CD4+ or CD8+ T cells or NK cells in mice given mIL-10-transduced DC reversed this therapeutic effect.

CONCLUSION: mIL-10 gene-modified myeloid DC promote CTL and NK cell-mediated responses and inhibit tumor growth. By contrast, vIL-10-engineered DC, which elicit diminished CTL responses and do not promote NK cell activity, seem to have therapeutic potential for inhibition of T cell-mediated immunity.

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