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J Immunol. 2003 Sep 15;171(6):2789-96.

Role of TRAIL and IFN-gamma in CD4+ T cell-dependent tumor rejection in the anterior chamber of the eye.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390, USA.


Although the anterior chamber of the eye expresses immune privilege, some ocular tumors succumb to immune rejection. Previous studies demonstrated that adenovirus-induced tumors, adenovirus type 5 early region 1 (Ad5E1), underwent immune rejection following transplantation into the anterior chamber of syngeneic mice. Intraocular tumor rejection required CD4(+) T cells, but did not require the following: 1) CD8(+) T cells, 2) B cells, 3) TNF, 4) perforin, 5) Fas ligand, or 6) NK cells. This study demonstrates that CD4(+) T cell-dependent tumor rejection does not occur in IFN-gamma-deficient mice. Ad5E1 tumor cells expressed DR5 receptor for TRAIL and were susceptible to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. Although IFN-gamma did not directly induce apoptosis of the tumor cells, it rendered them 3-fold more susceptible to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. Both CD4(+) T cells and corneal endothelial cells expressed TRAIL and induced apoptosis of Ad5E1 tumor cells. The results suggest that Ad5E1 tumor rejection occurs via TRAIL-induced apoptosis as follows: 1) tumor cells express TRAIL-R2 and are susceptible to TRAIL-induced apoptosis, 2) IFN-gamma enhances TRAIL expression on CD4(+) T cells and ocular cells, 3) IFN-gamma enhances tumor cell susceptibility to TRAIL-induced apoptosis, 4) apoptotic tumor cells are found in the eyes of rejector mice, but not in the eyes of IFN-gamma knockout mice that fail to reject intraocular tumors, 5) CD4(+) T cells and corneal endothelial cells express TRAIL and induce apoptosis of tumor cells, and 6) apoptosis induced by either CD4(+) T cells or corneal cells can be blocked with anti-TRAIL Ab.

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