Differential immune responses mediated by adenovirus- and lentivirus-transduced DCs in a HER-2/neu overexpressing tumor model
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Recent investigations have demonstrated that adenoviral and lentiviral vectors encoding HER-2 can be utilized in cancer immunotherapy. However, it is not known whether both viral systems elicit a similar immune response. Here, we compare the immune response in mice induced by dendritic cells (DCs) infected with either recombinant adenovirus or lentivirus encoding rat HER-2 (rHER-2). Both vaccine types yielded similar control of tumor growth, but we found clear differences in their immune responses 10 days after DC immunization. Adenovirus rHER-2-transduced DCs elicited locally and systemically high frequencies of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, while lentivirus rHER-2-transduced DCs predominantly led to CD4+ T-cell infiltration at the tumor site. Splenocytes from mice immunized with lentivirus rHER-2-transduced DCs secreted higher levels of interferon (IFN)-γ, mainly by CD4+ T cells, following stimulation by RM-1-mHER-2 tumors. In contrast, the adenovirus vaccinated group exhibited CD4+ and CD8+ T cells that both contributed to IFN-γ production. Besides an established cellular immune response, the rHER-2/DC vaccine elicited a significant humoral response that was highest in the adenovirus group. DC subsets and regulatory T cells in the spleen were also differentially modulated in the two vaccine systems. Finally, adoptive transfer of splenocytes from both groups of immunized mice strongly inhibited in vivo tumor growth. Our results suggest that not only the target antigen but also the virus system may determine the nature and magnitude of antitumor immunity by DC vaccination.
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