1. Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Beijing, China
2. Division of Surgical Oncology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
3. Institute of Disease Control and Prevention, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Beijing, China
* These authors contributed equally to the work
The successful use of tumor-draining lymph nodes (TDLN) as a source of effector cells for cancer immunotherapy depends largely on the immunogenicity of the tumor drained by the lymph nodes as well as the methods for secondary in vitro T cell activation and expansion. We transferred the bacterial superantigen staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA) gene into B16 murine melanoma tumor cells, and used them to induce TDLN (SEA TDLN) in syngeneic hosts. Wild-type (wt) TDLN induced by parental B16 tumor was used as a control. In vitro, SEA TDLN cells proliferated more vigorously, produced more IFNγ and demonstrated higher CTL activity than wt TDLN cells when activated with anti-CD3/anti-CD28/IL-2. In vivo, SEA TDLN cells mediated tumor eradication more effectively than similarly activated wt TDLN cells (p<0.01). Furthermore, use of dendritic cells (DC) plus tumor antigen in vitro in addition to anti-CD3/anti-CD28/IL-2 stimulation further amplified the immune function and therapeutic efficacy of SEA TDLN cells. DC-stimulated SEA TDLN cells eliminated nearly 90% of the pulmonary metastasis in mice bearing established B16 melanoma micrometastases. These results indicate that enforced expression of superantigen SEA in poorly immunogenic tumor cells can enhance their immunogenicity as a vaccine in vivo. The combined use of genetically modified tumor cells as vaccine to induce TDLN followed by secondary stimulation using antigen-presenting cells and tumor antigen in a sequential immunization/activation procedure may represent a unique method to generate more potent effector T cells for adoptive immunotherapy of cancer.
Keywords: Staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA), B16 melanoma, dendritic cells (DC), T lymphocyte, Adoptive therapy