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J Immunol. 2009 May 15;182(10):5960-9. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.0900008.

Lentivector immunization stimulates potent CD8 T cell responses against melanoma self-antigen tyrosinase-related protein 1 and generates antitumor immunity in mice.

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  • 1Immunology/Immunotherapy Program, Medical College of Georgia Cancer Center, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA 30912, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Immunol. 2009 Jul 15;183(2):1496.


Recombinant lentivector immunization has been demonstrated to induce potent CD8 T cell responses in vivo. In this study, we investigated whether lentivector delivering a self/tumor Ag, tyrosinase related protein 1 (TRP1), could stimulate effective antitumor T cell responses. We found that immunization with lentivector expressing mutated TRP1 Ag elicited potent CD8 T cell responses against multiple TRP1 epitopes. Importantly, the activated CD8 T cells effectively recognize wild-type TRP1 epitopes. At peak times, as many as 10% of CD8 T cells were effector cells against TRP1 Ag. These cells killed wild-type TRP1 peptide-pulsed target cells in vivo and produced IFN-gamma after ex vivo stimulation. The CD8 T cell responses were long-lasting (3-4 wk). Immunized mice were protected from B16 tumor cell challenge. In a therapeutic setting, lentivector immunization induced potent CD8 T cell responses in tumor bearing mice. The number of infiltrating T cells and the ratio of CD8/CD4 were dramatically increased in the tumors of immunized mice. The tumor-infiltrating CD8 T cells were functional and produced IFN-gamma. The potent CD8 T cell responses stimulated by lentivector immunization eliminated small 3-day s.c. B16 tumors and strongly inhibited the growth of more established 5-day tumors. These studies demonstrate that genetic immunization with lentivector expressing mutated self/tumor Ag can generate potent CD8 T cell immune responses and antitumor immunity that prevent and inhibit B16 tumor growth, suggesting that lentivector immunization has the potential for tumor immunotherapy and immune prevention.

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