Human effector T cells derived from central memory cells rather than CD8(+)T cells modified by tumor-specific TCR gene transfer possess superior traits for adoptive immunotherapy

Fenglin Wu, Wenfeng Zhang, Hongwei Shao, Huaben Bo, Han Shen, Jiandong Li, Yichen Liu, Teng Wang, Wenli Ma, Shulin Huang
Cancer Letters 2013 October 10, 339 (2): 195-207
Adoptive cell therapy provides an attractive treatment of cancer, and our expanding capacity to target tumor antigens is driven by genetically engineered human T lymphocytes that express genes encoding tumor-specific T cell receptors (TCRs). The intrinsic properties of cultured T cells used for therapy were reported to have tremendous influences on their persistence and antitumor efficacy in vivo. In this study, we isolated CD8(+) central memory T cells from peripheral blood lymphocytes of healthy donors, and then transferred with the gene encoding TCR specific for tumor antigen using recombinant adenovirus vector Ad5F35-TRAV-TRBV. We found effector T cells derived from central memory T cells improved cell viability, maintained certain level of CD62L expression, and reacquired the CD62L(+)CD44(high) phenotype of central memory T cells after effector T cells differentiation. We then compared the antitumor reactivity of central memory T cells and CD8(+)T cells after TCR gene transferred. The results indicated that tumor-specific TCR gene being transferred to central memory T cells effectively increased the specific killing of antigen positive tumor cells and the expression of cytolytic granule protein. Furthermore, TCR gene transferred central memory T cells were more effective than TCR gene transferred CD8(+)T cells in CTL activity and effector cytokine secretion. These results implicated that isolating central memory T cells rather than CD8(+)T cells for insertion of gene encoding tumor-specific TCR may provide a superior tumor-reactive T cell population for adoptive transfer.

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