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J Immunol. 2008 Sep 15;181(6):4406-17.

CD8+ T cells targeting a single immunodominant epitope are sufficient for elimination of established SV40 T antigen-induced brain tumors.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA 17033, USA.


Immunotherapy of established solid tumors is rarely achieved, and the mechanisms leading to success remain to be elucidated. We previously showed that extended control of advanced-stage autochthonous brain tumors is achieved following adoptive transfer of naive C57BL/6 splenocytes into sublethally irradiated line SV11 mice expressing the SV40 T Ag (T Ag) oncoprotein, and was associated with in vivo priming of CD8(+) T cells (T(CD8)) specific for the dominant epitope IV (T Ag residues 404-411). Using donor lymphocytes derived from mice that are tolerant to epitope IV or a newly characterized transgenic mouse line expressing an epitope IV-specific TCR, we show that epitope IV-specific T(CD8) are a necessary component of the donor pool and that purified naive epitope IV-specific T(CD8) are sufficient to promote complete and rapid regression of established tumors. While transfer of naive TCR-IV cells alone induced some initial tumor regression, increased survival of tumor-bearing mice required prior conditioning of the host with a sublethal dose of gamma irradiation and was associated with complete tumor eradication. Regression of established tumors was associated with rapid accumulation of TCR-IV T cells within the brain following initial priming against the endogenous T Ag in the peripheral lymphoid organs. Additionally, persistence of functional TCR-IV cells in both the brain and peripheral lymphoid organs was associated with long-term tumor-free survival. Finally, we show that production of IFN-gamma, but not perforin or TNF-alpha, by the donor lymphocytes is critical for control of autochthonous brain tumors.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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