JOURNAL ARTICLE

Long-term engraftment and expansion of tumor-derived memory T cells following the implantation of non-disrupted pieces of human lung tumor into NOD-scid IL2Rgamma(null) mice

Michelle R Simpson-Abelson, Gregory F Sonnenberg, Hiroshi Takita, Sandra J Yokota, Thomas F Conway, Raymond J Kelleher, Leonard D Shultz, Maurice Barcos, Richard B Bankert
Journal of Immunology 2008 May 15, 180 (10): 7009-18
18453623
Non-disrupted pieces of primary human lung tumor implanted into NOD-scid IL2Rgamma(null) mice consistently result in successful xenografts in which tissue architecture, including tumor-associated leukocytes, stromal fibroblasts, and tumor cells are preserved for prolonged periods with limited host-vs-graft interference. Human CD45(+) tumor-associated leukocytes within the xenograft are predominantly CD3(+) T cells with fewer CD138(+) plasma cells. The effector memory T cells that had been shown to be quiescent in human lung tumor microenvironments can be activated in situ as determined by the production of human IFN-gamma in response to exogenous IL-12. Plasma cells remain functional as evidenced by production of human Ig. Significant levels of human IFN-gamma and Ig were detected in sera from xenograft-bearing mice for up to 9 wk postengraftment. Tumor-associated T cells were found to migrate from the microenvironment of the xenograft to the lung, liver, and primarily the spleen. At 8 wk postengraftment, a significant portion of cells isolated from the mouse spleens were found to be human CD45(+) cells. The majority of CD45(+) cells were CD3(+) and expressed a phenotype consistent with an effector memory T cell, consisting of CD4(+) or CD8(+) T cells that were CD45RO(+), CD44(+), CD62L(-), and CD25(-). Following adoptive transfer into non-tumor bearing NOD-scid IL2Rgamma(null) mice, these human T cells were found to expand in the spleen, produce IFN-gamma, and maintain an effector memory phenotype. We conclude that the NOD-scid IL2Rgamma(null) tumor xenograft model provides an opportunity to study tumor and tumor-stromal cell interactions in situ for prolonged periods.

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