Dendritic cells charged with apoptotic tumor cells induce long-lived protective CD4+ and CD8+ T cell immunity against B16 melanoma

Romina S Goldszmid, Juliana Idoyaga, Alicia I Bravo, Ralph Steinman, José Mordoh, Rosa Wainstok
Journal of Immunology 2003 December 1, 171 (11): 5940-7
Dendritic cells (DCs) are potent APCs and attractive vectors for cancer immunotherapy. Using the B16 melanoma, a poorly immunogenic experimental tumor that expresses low levels of MHC class I products, we investigated whether DCs loaded ex vivo with apoptotic tumor cells could elicit combined CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell dependent, long term immunity following injection into mice. The bone marrow-derived DCs underwent maturation during overnight coculture with apoptotic melanoma cells. Following injection, DCs migrated to the draining lymph nodes comparably to control DCs at a level corresponding to approximately 0.5% of the injected inoculum. Mice vaccinated with tumor-loaded DCs were protected against an intracutaneous challenge with B16, with 80% of the mice remaining tumor-free 12 wk after challenge. CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells were efficiently primed in vaccinated animals, as evidenced by IFN-gamma secretion after in vitro stimulation with DCs loaded with apoptotic B16 or DCs pulsed with the naturally expressed melanoma Ag, tyrosinase-related protein 2. In addition, B16 melanoma cells were recognized by immune CD8(+) T cells in vitro, and cytolytic activity against tyrosinase-related protein 2(180-188)-pulsed target cells was observed in vivo. When either CD4(+) or CD8(+) T cells were depleted at the time of challenge, the protection was completely abrogated. Mice receiving a tumor challenge 10 wk after vaccination were also protected, consistent with the induction of tumor-specific memory. Therefore, DCs loaded with cells undergoing apoptotic death can prime melanoma-specific helper and CTLs and provide long term protection against a poorly immunogenic tumor in mice.


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