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J Immunol. 1999 Apr 15;162(8):5003-10.

4-1BBL cooperates with B7-1 and B7-2 in converting a B cell lymphoma cell line into a long-lasting antitumor vaccine.

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  • 1Department of Immunology, Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


A20 is a B cell lymphoma that constitutively expresses the costimulatory molecule B7-2 yet grows readily as a tumor in syngeneic BALB/c mice. We have compared the tumorigenicity of A20 variants expressing either B7-1 (A20/B7-1) or B7-2 (A20/B7-2) with an A20 variant expressing B7-1 and B7-2 with 4-1BBL (A20/4-1BBL), a costimulatory member of the TNF family. Mice injected with tumors expressing the vector backbone (A20/CMV) or B7-1 developed tumors within 25 days of s.c. injection. In contrast, mice injected with A20/4-1BBL were tumor free for the 150-day follow-up period, while 25% of mice injected with A20/B7-2 developed tumors. Tumorigenicity experiments using nude mice indicated the requirement for T cells for variant rejection. Almost all mice that resisted the initial tumor challenge were resistant to further challenge with the parental tumor. Splenocytes from these mice showed high CTL lytic activity against the parental tumor, A20, as well as the syngeneic BALB/c lymphoma K46J, but showed background levels of lytic activity against the congenic SCID thymoma line ST-D2 or the allogeneic EL4 thymoma. In vitro blocking experiments with anti-B7-1 plus anti-B7-2 and/or soluble 4-1BB receptor showed B7-1, B7-2, and 4-1BBL all contributed to the CTL activity. Thus, the data show that neither B7-1 or B7-2 alone can confer full immunogenicity to the A20 lymphoma but that the addition of 4-1BBL results in a tumor that is highly immunogenic and can confer long-lasting protection against challenge with parental tumor in vivo.

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