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Haematologica. 2008 Oct;93(10):1523-34. doi: 10.3324/haematol.12521. Epub 2008 Aug 25.

The effect of artificial antigen-presenting cells with preclustered anti-CD28/-CD3/-LFA-1 monoclonal antibodies on the induction of ex vivo expansion of functional human antitumor T cells.

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  • 1C. Gandini Medical Oncology, Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.



Adoptive cell therapy with ex vivo expanded autologous antitumor cytotoxic T lymphocytes represents an important therapeutic option as an anticancer strategy. In order to identify a reliable method for producing adequate amounts of functional antitumor cytotoxic T lymphocytes with a potentially long in vivo lifespan, we tested the T-cell expansion efficiency of a new artificial antigen-presenting cell-based system.


Our artificial antigen-presenting cells were generated with activating (anti-CD3), co-stimulating (anti-CD28) and adhesion (anti-LFA-1) biotinylated monoclonal antibodies preclustered in microdomains held on a liposome scaffold by neutravidin rafts. The co-localization of T-cell ligands in microdomains and the targeting of an adhesion protein, increasing the efficiency of immunological synapse formation, represent the novelties of our system. The activity of our artificial antigen-presenting cells was compared with that of anti-CD3/-CD28 coated immunomagnetic microbeads and immobilized anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody (OKT3 clone), the only two commercially available artificial systems.


Our artificial antigen-presenting cells expanded both polyclonal T cells and MART-1-specific CD8(+) T cells in a more efficient manner than the other systems. Stimulation with artificial antigen-presenting cells allows for the generation of viable T cells displaying an immunophenotype consistent with in vivo potential for persistence, without increasing the frequency of regulatory T cells. The starting specificity of anti MART-1 CD8(+) T cells was preserved after stimulation with artificial antigen-presenting cells and it was statistically greater when compared to the activity of the same cells expanded with the other systems. Finally, our artificial antigen-presenting cells proved to be suitable for large-scale application, minimizing the volume and the costs of T-cell expansion.


Our artificial antigen-presenting cells might represent an efficient tool to rapidly obtain a sufficient number of functional T cells for adoptive immunotherapy in patients with cancer.

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