Dendritic cell (DC) therapies are currently being evaluated for the treatment of cancer. The majority of ongoing clinical trials use DCs loaded with defined antigenic peptides or proteins, or tumor-derived products, such as lysates or apoptotic cells, as sources of Ag. Although several theoretical considerations suggest that DCs expressing transgenic protein Ags may be more effective immunogens than protein-loaded cells, methods for efficiently transfecting DCs are only now being developed. In this study we directly compare the immunogenicity of peptide/protein-pulsed DCs with lentiviral vector-transduced DCs, and their comparative efficacy in tumor immunotherapy. Maturing, bone marrow-derived DCs can be efficiently transduced with lentiviral vectors, and transduction does not affect DC maturation, plasticity, or Ag presentation function. Transduced DCs efficiently process and present both MHC class I- and II-restricted epitopes from the expressed transgenic Ag OVA. Compared with peptide- or protein-pulsed DCs, lentiviral vector-transduced DCs elicit stronger and longer-lasting T cell responses in vivo, as measured by both in vivo killing assays and intracellular production of IFN-γ by Ag-specific T cells. In the B16-OVA tumor therapy model, the growth of established tumors was significantly inhibited by a single immunization using lentiviral vector-transduced DCs, resulting in significantly longer survival of immunized animals. These results suggest that compared with Ag-pulsed DCs, vaccination with lentiviral vector-transduced DCs may achieve more potent antitumor immunity. These data support the further development of lentiviral vectors to transduce DCs with genes encoding Ags or immunomodulatory adjuvants to generate and control systemic immune responses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy