Administration of interleukin-12 enhances the therapeutic efficacy of dendritic cell-based tumor vaccines in mouse hepatocellular carcinoma

T Tatsumi, T Takehara, T Kanto, T Miyagi, N Kuzushita, Y Sugimoto, M Jinushi, A Kasahara, Y Sasaki, M Hori, N Hayashi
Cancer Research 2001 October 15, 61 (20): 7563-7
Dendritic cells (DCs) are potent antigen-presenting cells that are capable of priming systemic antitumor immune response. Here, we evaluated the combined effectiveness of tumor lysate-pulsed DC immunization and interleukin (IL)-12 administration on the induction of antitumor immunity in a mouse hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) model. Mouse DCs were pulsed with lysate of BNL 1ME A.7R.1 (BNL), a BALB/c-derived HCC cell line, and then injected into syngeneic mice in combination with systemic administration of IL-12. Lymphocytes from mice treated with BNL lysate-pulsed DCs and IL-12 showed stronger cytolytic activity and produced higher amounts of IFN-gamma than those from mice treated with BNL lysate-pulsed DCs alone. Although immunization with BNL lysate-pulsed DCs alone did not lead to complete regression of established tumors, it significantly inhibited tumor growth compared with vehicle injection. Importantly, the combined therapy of BNL lysate-pulsed DCs and IL-12 resulted in tumor rejection or significant inhibition of tumor growth compared with mice treated with BNL lysate-pulsed DCs alone. In vivo lymphocyte depletion experiments demonstrated that this combination was dependent on both CD8+ and CD4+ T cells, but not natural killer cells. These results demonstrated that IL-12 administration enhanced the therapeutic effect of immunization of tumor lysate-pulsed DCs against HCC in mice. This combination of IL-12 and DCs may be useful for suppressing the growth of residual tumor after primary therapy of human HCC.

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