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J Immunol. 2004 Jan 1;172(1):104-13.

Activation of resting human primary T cells with chimeric receptors: costimulation from CD28, inducible costimulator, CD134, and CD137 in series with signals from the TCR zeta chain.

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  • 1Celltech R&D, 208 Bath Road, Slough, Berkshire SL1 3WE, United Kingdom.


Chimeric receptors that include CD28 signaling in series with TCRzeta in the same receptor have been demonstrated to activate prestimulated human primary T cells more efficiently than a receptor providing TCRzeta signaling alone. We examined whether this type of receptor can also activate resting human primary T cells, and whether molecules other than CD28 could be included in a single chimeric receptor in series with TCRzeta to mediate the activation of resting human primary T cells. Human CD33-specific chimeric receptors were generated with CD28, inducible costimulator, CD134, or CD137 signaling regions in series with TCRzeta signaling region and transfected by electroporation into resting human primary T cells. Their ability to mediate Ag-specific activation was analyzed in comparison with a receptor providing TCRzeta signaling alone. Inclusion of any of the costimulatory signaling regions in series with TCRzeta enhanced the level of specific Ag-induced IL-2, IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, and GM-CSF cytokine production and enabled resting primary T cells to survive and proliferate in response to Ag in the absence of any exogenous factors. Inclusion of CD28, inducible costimulator, or CD134 enhanced TCRzeta-mediated, Ag-specific target cell lysis. Chimeric receptors providing B7 and TNFR family costimulatory signals in series with TCRzeta in the same receptor can confer self-sufficient clonal expansion and enhanced effector function to resting human T cells. This type of chimeric receptor may now be used to discover the most potent combination of costimulatory signals that will improve current immunotherapeutic strategies.

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