Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Oncolytic Treatment Interferes with Tumor-Associated Dendritic Cell Functions and Abrogates Tumor Antigen Presentation
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Oncolytic virotherapy is a promising biological approach to cancer treatment that contributes to tumor eradication via immune- and non-immune-mediated mechanisms. One of the remaining challenges for these experimental therapies is the necessity to develop a durable adaptive immune response against the tumor. Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) is a prototypical oncolytic virus (OV) that exemplifies the multiple mechanisms of oncolysis, including direct cell lysis, cellular hypoxia resulting from the shutdown of tumor vasculature, and inflammatory cytokine release. Despite these properties, the generation of sustained antitumor immunity is observed only when VSV is engineered to express a tumor antigen directly. In the present study, we sought to increase the number of tumor-associated dendritic cells (DC) in vivo and tumor antigen presentation by combining VSV treatment with recombinant Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 ligand (rFlt3L), a growth factor promoting the differentiation and proliferation of DC. The combination of VSV oncolysis and rFLt3L improved animal survival in two different tumor models, i.e., VSV-resistant B16 melanoma and VSV-sensitive E.G7 T lymphoma; however, increased survival was independent of the adaptive CD8 T cell response. Tumor-associated DC were actively infected by VSV in vivo, which reduced their viability and prevented their migration to the draining lymph nodes to prime a tumor-specific CD8 T cell response. These results demonstrate that VSV interferes with tumor DC functions and blocks tumor antigen presentation.
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