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J Immunol. 1998 Jul 15;161(2):897-908.

T cell-mediated, IFN-gamma-facilitated rejection of murine B16 melanomas.

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  • 1Institute of Medical Microbiology, University of Ulm, Germany.


The murine melanoma cell line B16.F10 (H-2b) was used to study specific T cell responses that reject tumors. Stable B16 transfectants were established that express viral Ags, either the hepatitis B surface Ag (HBsAg) or the large tumor Ag (T-Ag) of SV40. B16 cells and their transfected sublines were CD40+ CD44+ but expressed no (or low levels of the) costimulator molecules CD154 (CD40L), CD48, CD54, CD80, and CD86. Surface expression of MHC class I (Kb, Db) and class II (I-Ab) molecules by B16 cells was low, but strikingly up-regulated by IFN-gamma. CD95 (Fas) and CD95 ligand (CD95L (FasL)) were "spontaneously" expressed by B16 cells growing in vitro in serum-free medium; these markers were strikingly up-regulated by IFN-gamma. B16 cells coexpressing CD95 and CD95L were irreversibly programmed for apoptosis. In vitro, noninduced B16 transfectants stimulated a specific IFN-gamma release response, but no cytolytic response (in a 4-h assay) in MHC class I-restricted CTL; in contrast, IFN-gamma-induced B16 targets were efficiently and specifically lysed by CTL. In vivo, B16 transfectants were specifically rejected by DNA-vaccinated syngeneic hosts through a T-dependent immune effector mechanism. The tumors showed evidence of massive apoptosis in vivo during the rejection process. The data suggest that CTL-derived IFN-gamma enhances an intrinsic suicide mechanism of these tumor cells in addition to facilitating lytic interactions of effectors with tumor targets.

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