Purpose: Human T-cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-I) can cause an adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL). Because ATLL is a life-threatening lymphoproliferative disorder and is resistant to chemotherapy, the establishment and enhancement of T-cell immunity to HTLV-I through the development of therapeutic vaccines could be of value. Thus, the identification of HTLV-I epitopes for both CD8+ and CD4+ T cells should facilitate the development of effective vaccines. Although numerous HTLV-I epitopes for CTLs have been identified, few epitopes recognized by CD4+ helper T cells against this virus have been described. Experimental Design: Synthetic peptides prepared from several regions of the HTLV-I envelope (Env) sequence that were predicted to serve as helper T-cell epitopes were prepared with use of computer-based algorithms and tested for their capacity to trigger in vitro helper T-cell responses using lymphocytes from normal volunteers. Results: The results show that the HTLV-I-Env317-331, and HTLV-I-Env 384-398-reactive helper T lymphocytes restricted by HLA-DQw6 and HLA-DR15, respectively, could recognize intact HTLV-I+ T-cell lymphoma cells and, as a consequence, secrete lymphokines. In addition, HTLV-I Env 196-210-reactive helper T lymphocytes restricted by HLA-DR9 were able to directly kill HTLV-I+ lymphoma cells and recognize naturally processed antigen derived from killed HTLV-I+ lymphoma cells, which was presented to the helper T cells by autologous antigen-presenting cells. Conclusions: The present findings hold relevance for the design and optimization of T-cell epitope-based immunotherapy against HTLV-I-induced diseases such as ATLL.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research