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Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2008 Nov;57(11):1665-73. doi: 10.1007/s00262-008-0487-4. Epub 2008 Mar 1.

Inefficient presentation of tumor-derived antigen by tumor-infiltrating dendritic cells.

Author information

  • 1Malaghan Institute of Medical Research, Wellington, New Zealand. Patrizia.Stoitzner@i-med.ac.at



Transplantable B16 melanoma is widely used as a tumor model to investigate tumor immunity. We wished to characterize the leukocyte populations infiltrating B16 melanoma tumors, and the functional properties of tumor-infiltrating dendritic cells (TIDC).


We used the B16 melanoma cell line expressing ovalbumin protein (OVA) to investigate the phenotype and T cell stimulatory capacity of TIDC.


The majority of leukocytes in B16 melanoma were macrophages, which colocalized with TIDCs, B and T cells to the peripheral area of the tumor. Both myeloid and plasmacytoid DC populations were present within tumors. Most of these DCs appeared immature, but about a third expressed a mature phenotype. TIDCs did not present tumor-derived antigen, as they were unable to induce the proliferation of tumor-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in vitro unless in the presence of specific peptides. Some presentation of tumor-derived antigen could be demonstrated in the tumor-draining lymph node using in vivo proliferation assays. However, while proliferation of CD8+ T cells was reproducibly demonstrated, no proliferation of CD4+ T cells was observed.


In summary, our data suggest that DCs in tumors have limited antigen-presenting function. Inefficient antigen presentation extends to the tumor-draining lymph node, and may affect the generation of antitumor immune responses.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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