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PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e32211. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0032211. Epub 2012 Feb 16.

Lack of functional selectin ligand interactions compromises long term tumor protection by CD8+ T cells.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


Central memory CD8(+) T cells expressing the adhesion molecule CD62L (L-selectin) are potent mediators of anti-cancer immunity due to their ability to proliferate extensively upon antigen re-stimulation. The interaction of selectin with its ligands mediates leukocyte rolling along high endothelial venules. Mice deficient in α(1,3) Fucosyltransferase IV and VII (FtDKO) lack functional L, P and E selectin ligands. Thus, we addressed whether the lack of selectin ligand interactions alters tumor protection by CD8(+) T cells in FtDKO mice. Listeria monocytogenes-OVA (LM-OVA) infection evoked potent OVA-specific CD8(+) T cells that proliferated and contracted at similar kinetics and phenotype in FtDKO and wild-type mice. Additionally, OVA-specific CD8(+) T cells in both mouse strains exhibited similar phenotypic differentiation, in vivo cytolytic activity and IFN-γ expression. However, FtDKO mice succumbed to B16-OVA tumors significantly earlier than wild-type mice. In contrast, FtDKO mice evoked strong recall memory CD8(+) T cell responses and protection to systemic LM-OVA re-challenge. The diminished tumor protection in FtDKO mice was not related to defective antigen presentation by dendritic cells or reduced proliferation of antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells. However, WT or FtDKO OVA-specific CD8(+) T cells showed significantly reduced ability to traffic to lymph nodes upon adoptive transfer into naïve FtDKO recipients. Furthermore, FtDKO OVA-specific CD8(+) T cells displayed poor ability to infiltrate tumors growing in WT mice. These results reveal that selectin ligand expression on host endothelium as well CD8(+) T cells may be important for their efficient and continued extravasation into peripheral tumors.

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