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J Immunol. 2001 Aug 1;167(3):1795-802.

Cross-presentation by dendritic cells of tumor antigen expressed in apoptotic recombinant canarypox virus-infected dendritic cells.

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  • 1Unité de Biologie Moléculaire du Gène, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale Unité 277, Institut Pasteur, 25 Rue du Dr. Roux, 75724 Paris Cedex 15, France.


We have investigated the possible usefulness of recombinant canarypox virus (ALVAC) encoding the melanoma-associated Ag, Melan-A/MART-1 (MART-1), in cancer immunotherapy, using a dendritic cell (DC)-based approach. ALVAC MART-1-infected DC express, and are able to process and present, the Ag coded by the viral vector. One consistent feature of infection by ALVAC is that these viruses induce apoptosis, and we show cross-presentation of Ag when uninfected DC are cocultured with ALVAC MART-1-infected DC. Uptake of apoptotic virally infected DC by uninfected DC and subsequent expression of tumor Ag in the latter were verified by flow cytometry analysis, image cytometry, and confocal microscopy. Functional activity was monitored in vitro by the stimulation of a MART-1-specific cytotoxic T cell clone. Heightened efficiency in Ag presentation is evidenced in the 2- to 3-fold increase in IFN-gamma production by the T cell clone, as compared with the ALVAC-infected DC alone. Cocultures of ALVAC MART-1-infected and uninfected DC are able to induce MART-1-specific T cell immune responses, as assessed by HLA class I/peptide tetramer binding, IFN-gamma ELISPOT assays, and cytotoxicity tests. Overall, our data indicate that DC infected with recombinant canarypox viruses may represent an efficient presentation platform for tumor Ags, which can be exploited in clinical studies.

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