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J Virol. 2000 Oct;74(20):9610-6.

Prevention of adult T-cell leukemia-like lymphoproliferative disease in rats by adoptively transferred T cells from a donor immunized with human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 Tax-coding DNA vaccine.

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  • 1Department of Immunotherapeutics, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Medical Research Division, Tokyo 113, Japan.


Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) causes adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) in infected individuals after a long incubation period. To dissect the mechanisms of the development of the disease, we have previously established a rat model of ATL-like disease which allows examination of the growth and spread of HTLV-1 infected tumor cells, as well assessment of the effects of immune T cells on the development of the disease. In the present study, we induced HTLV-1 Tax-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) immunity by vaccination with Tax-coding DNA and examined the effects of the DNA vaccine in our rat ATL-like disease model. Our results demonstrated that DNA vaccine with Tax effectively induced Tax-specific CTL activity in F344/N Jcl-rnu/+ (nu/+) rats and that these CTLs were able to lyse HTLV-1 infected syngeneic T cells in vitro. Adoptive transfer of these immune T cells effectively inhibited the in vivo growth of HTLV-1-transformed tumor in F344/N Jcl-rnu/rnu (nu/nu) rats inoculated with a rat HTLV-1 infected T cell line. Vaccination with mutant Tax DNA lacking transforming ability also induced efficient anti-tumor immunity in this model. Our results indicated a promising effect for DNA vaccine with HTLV-1 Tax against HTLV-1 tumor development in vivo.

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