Adoptive immunotherapy of advanced tumors with CD62 L-selectin(low) tumor-sensitized T lymphocytes following ex vivo hyperexpansion

Li-Xin Wang, Bing-Guan Chen, Gregory E Plautz
Journal of Immunology 2002 September 15, 169 (6): 3314-20
Tumor-draining lymph nodes (TDLN) contain sensitized T cells with the phenotype CD62 L-selectin(low) (CD62L(low)) that can be activated ex vivo with anti-CD3 mAb and IL-2 to acquire potent dose-dependent effector function manifested upon adoptive transfer to secondary tumor-bearing hosts. In this study advanced tumor models were used as a stringent comparison of efficacy for the CD62L(low) subset, comprising 5-7% of the TDLN cells, vs the total population of TDLN cells following culture in high dose IL-2 (100 U/ml). During the 9-day activation period the total number of CD8+ T cells increased 1500-fold, with equivalent proliferation in the CD62L(low) vs the total TDLN cell cultures. Adoptive transfer of activated CD62L(low) cells eliminated 14-day pulmonary metastases and cured 10-day s.c. tumors, whereas transfer of maximally tolerated numbers of total TDLN cells was not therapeutic. Despite their propagation in a high concentration of IL-2, the hyperexpanded CD62L(low) subset of TDLN cells functioned in vivo without exogenous IL-2, and CD8+ T cells demonstrated relative helper independence. Moreover, the anti-tumor response was specific for the sensitizing tumor, and long term memory was established. The facile enrichment of tumor-reactive TDLN T cells, based on the CD62L(low) phenotype, circumvents the need for prior knowledge of the relevant tumor Ags. Coupling the isolation of pre-effector T cells with rapid ex vivo expansion to >3 logs could overcome some of the shortcomings of active immunotherapy or in vivo cytokine treatment, where selective robust expansion of effector cells has been difficult to achieve.

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