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Cancer Gene Ther. 1999 May-Jun;6(3):228-37.

Interleukin-12 requires initial CD80-mediated T-cell activation to support immune responses toward human breast and ovarian carcinoma.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Tübingen, Germany.


One possible reason for the poor immunogenicity of tumors is the induction of peripheral tolerance by tumor cells that fail to deliver costimulatory signals. Furthermore, T cells stimulated with wild-type tumor cells often fail to secrete cytokines. The present study has been undertaken to identify cytokines that cooperate with CD80 in T-cell activation in vitro toward human breast and ovarian carcinoma cell lines. Tumor cell-mediated T-lymphocyte activation was analyzed directly in allogeneic mixed lymphocyte/tumor cell cultures as proliferation and effector functions were assessed in cytotoxic T-cell assays. Interleukin-7 (IL-7) amplified the proliferative response toward CD80-transfected breast and ovarian carcinomas and stimulated predominantly CD4+ T lymphocytes. IL-12 represses the proliferative response of naive T cells but cooperates with CD80-mediated activation during secondary stimulations. In long-term T-cell cultures, IL-12 synergizes with CD80 expression to stimulate cytolytic CD8+ T-cell lines, which recognize a breast carcinoma line in a human histocompatibility leukocyte antigen-restricted manner. These studies illustrate that costimulation is necessary for tumor cells to function as alloantigen-presenting cells. Furthermore, when added after the priming of T cells with CD80-transfected tumor cells, IL-12 could be helpful in propagating sufficient T-cell numbers to be used in adoptive transfers during cellular immunotherapy.

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