Oncolytic adenovirus expressing IL-23 and p35 elicits IFN-γ- and TNF-α-co-producing T cell-mediated antitumor immunity

Il-Kyu Choi, Yan Li, Eonju Oh, Jaesung Kim, Chae-Ok Yun
PloS One 2013, 8 (7): e67512
Cytokine immunogene therapy is a promising strategy for cancer treatment. Interleukin (IL)-12 boosts potent antitumor immunity by inducing T helper 1 cell differentiation and stimulating cytotoxic T lymphocyte and natural killer cell cytotoxicity. IL-23 has been proposed to have similar but not overlapping functions with IL-12 in inducing Th1 cell differentiation and antitumor immunity. However, the therapeutic effects of intratumoral co-expression of IL-12 and IL-23 in a cancer model have yet to be investigated. Therefore, we investigated for the first time an effective cancer immunogene therapy of syngeneic tumors via intratumoral inoculation of oncolytic adenovirus co-expressing IL-23 and p35, RdB/IL23/p35. Intratumoral administration of RdB/IL23/p35 elicited strong antitumor effects and increased survival in a murine B16-F10 syngeneic tumor model. The levels of IL-12, IL-23, interferon-γ (IFN-γ), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were elevated in RdB/IL23/p35-treated tumors. Moreover, the proportion of regulatory T cells was markedly decreased in mice treated with RdB/IL23/p35. Consistent with these data, mice injected with RdB/IL23/p35 showed massive infiltration of CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells into the tumor as well as enhanced induction of tumor-specific immunity. Importantly, therapeutic mechanism of antitumor immunity mediated by RdB/IL23/p35 is associated with the generation and recruitment of IFN-γ- and TNF-α-co-producing T cells in tumor microenvironment. These results provide a new insight into therapeutic mechanisms of IL-12 plus IL-23 and provide a potential clinical cancer immunotherapeutic agent for improved antitumor immunity.

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