Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase contributes to tumor cell evasion of T cell-mediated rejection

Maria Friberg, Ronald Jennings, Marwan Alsarraj, Sophie Dessureault, Alan Cantor, Martine Extermann, Andrew L. Mellor, David H. Munn, Scott J. Antonia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

313 Scopus citations


The priming of an appropriate anti-tumor T cell response rarely results in the rejection of established tumors. The characteristics of tumors that allow them to evade a T cell-mediated rejection are unknown for many tumors. We report on evidence that the expression of the immunosuppressive enzyme, indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) by mononuclear cells that invade tumors and tumor-draining lymph nodes, is I mechanism that may account for this observation. Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) cells stimulated a more robust allogeneic T cell response in vitro in the presence of a competitive inhibitor of IDO, I-methyl tryptophan. When administered in vivo this inhibitor also resulted in delayed LLC tumor growth in syngeneic mice. Our study provides evidence for a novel mechanism whereby tumors evade rejection by the immune system, and suggests the possibility that inhibiting IDO may be developed as an anti-cancer immunotherapeutic strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-155
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 10 2002


  • Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase
  • T cell
  • Tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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