Dendritic cells transduced with tumor-associated antigen gene elicit potent therapeutic antitumor immunity: comparison with immunodominant peptide-pulsed DCs

Masaki Nakamura, Makoto Iwahashi, Mikihito Nakamori, Kentaro Ueda, Toshiyasu Ojima, Teiji Naka, Koichiro Ishida, Hiroki Yamaue
Oncology 2005, 68 (2): 163-70
Several studies have shown that vaccine therapy using dendritic cells (DCs) pulsed with specific tumor antigen peptides can effectively induce antitumor immunity. Peptide-pulsed DC therapy is reported to be effective against melanoma, while it is still not sufficient to show the antitumor therapeutic effect against epithelial solid tumors such as gastrointestinal malignancies. Recently, it has been reported that vaccine therapy using DCs transduced with a surrogate tumor antigen gene can elicit a potent therapeutic antitumor immunity. In this study, we investigated the efficacy of vaccine therapy using DCs transduced with the natural tumor antigen in comparison with peptide-pulsed DCs. DCs derived from murine bone marrow were adenovirally transduced with murine endogenous tumor antigen gp70 gene, which is expressed in CT26 cells, or DCs were pulsed with the immunodominant peptide AH-1 derived from gp70. We compared these two cancer vaccines in terms of induction of antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses, CD4+ T cell response against tumor cells, migratory capacity of DCs and therapeutic immunity in vivo. The cytotoxic activity of splenocytes against CT26 and Meth-A pulsed with AH-1 in mice immunized with gp70 gene-transduced DCs was higher than that with AH-1-pulsed DCs. CD4+ T cells induced from mice immunized with gp70 gene-transduced DCs produced higher levels of IFN-gamma by stimulation with CT26 than those from mice immunized with AH-1-pulsed DCs (p < 0.0001), and it was suggested that DCs transduced with tumor-associated antigen (TAA) gene induced tumor-specific CD4+ T cells, and those CD4+ T cells played a critical role in the priming phase of the CD8+ T cell response for the induction of CD8+ CTL. Furthermore, DCs adenovirally transduced with TAA gene showed an enhancement of expression of CC chemokine receptor 7 and improved the migratory capacity to draining lymph nodes. In subcutaneous models, the vaccination using gp70 gene-transduced DCs provided a remarkably higher therapeutic efficacy than that using AH-1-pulsed DCs. These results suggested that vaccine therapy using DCs adenovirally transduced with TAA gene can elicit potent antitumor immunity, and may be useful for clinical application.

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