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Induction of immunity to a viral protein that had been transfected into a tumor cell line was studied. The nucleoprotein (NP) of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) was used as a model tumor-associated Ag after transfection into EL-4, and H-2b thymoma originating from C57BL/6 mice. The NP-transfected cell line (EL-4NP) was lysed by NP-specific CTL and was found to restimulate NP-specific CTL in vitro as efficiently as did VSV-infected macrophages. Despite both of these in vitro characteristics, C57BL/6 mice inoculated with EL-4NP did not mount a measurable NP-specific CTL response and developed a lethal tumor as rapidly as did mice given control EL-4. This lack of immunogenicity could not be explained by down-regulation of MHC class I molecules or by loss of NP; even EL-4NP cells metastasizing to the spleen kept their high restimulatory capacity and excellent target characteristics. However, once mice were immunized with VSV or with a vaccinia-VSV-NP recombinant virus they were protected against tumor growth of EL-4NP by CD8+ CTL but not by CD4+ T cells. Taken together, the failure of the tumor-associated Ag to induce a protective T cell response in vivo despite its excellent capacity to restimulate CTL in vitro may encourage adjuvant immunotherapy in cancer; even the effects of weakly immunizing tumor vaccines, e.g., recombinant viruses, may be efficiently amplified by tumor cells.

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Immunol

Publication Date

15/05/1993

Volume

150

Pages

4450 - 4456

Keywords

Animals, Antigens, Neoplasm, Antigens, Viral, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, CD8 Antigens, In Vitro Techniques, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Neoplasms, Experimental, Nucleocapsid Proteins, Nucleoproteins, T-Lymphocyte Subsets, T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic, Thymoma, Tumor Cells, Cultured, Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus, Viral Core Proteins, Virus Replication