Enhanced Immune Response to the Melanoma Antigen gp100 Using Recombinant Adenovirus-Transduced Dendritic Cells
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Glycoprotein 100 (gp100) is one of a series of well-characterized human melanoma-associated antigens expressed by most melanoma cells. Immunization of C57BL/6 mice with an adenovirus (Ad) vector encoding human gp100 (Adhgp100) has been shown to induce limited protective immunity against challenge with murine melanoma B16 cells. In the current study we determined whether gp100-specific immunity can be enhanced using bone-marrow-derived dendritic cells (DCs) transduced with Adhgp100 ex vivo. Subcutaneous injection of Adhgp100-infected DCs resulted in potent T-cell-mediated protective immunity and a greater than 80% reduction of established tumors when administered to B16 tumor-bearing hosts. Compared to direct injection of Adhgp100 vector alone, immunization with Adhgp100-infected DCs induced markedly greater antitumor activity. In vitro CTL analysis demonstrated that DC-Adhgp100 immunization activated both CD4(+) and CD8(+) CTLs, while no lytic activity was generated by vaccination with Adhgp100 alone. In vivo depletion of CD4(+) T cells, but not CD8(+) T cells, completely abrogated CTL activity, suggesting that Adhgp100-transduced DCs result in activation of both CD4(+) and CD8(+) CTLs via a CD4(+)-dependent mechanism. We speculate that this improved efficacy of Adhgp100-transduced DCs compared to direct immunization with Adhgp100 may be the result of direct DC-mediated CD4(+) T cell activation. These results emphasize the importance of CD4(+) T cells in the development of therapeutic antigen-specific cancer vaccines.
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