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Cancer Res. 2003 May 15;63(10):2546-52.

Polarization effects of 4-1BB during CD28 costimulation in generating tumor-reactive T cells for cancer immunotherapy.

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Division of Surgical Oncology, University of Michigan, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-0932, USA.


Using murine tumor-draining lymph node (TDLN) cells, we investigated the polarization effect of 4-1BB (CD137) during CD28 costimulation in generating antitumor T cells. Costimulation of TDLN cells through the newly induced 4-1BB molecules, CD3, and CD28 using monoclonal antibodies significantly enhanced cell proliferation. The greater cell yield with 4-1BB signaling appeared to be related to the inhibition of activation-induced cell death. Activation of TDLN cells through 4-1BB in addition to CD3/CD28 signaling shifted T-cell responses toward a type 1 cytokine pattern because 4-1BB ligation plus CD3/CD28 stimulation significantly augmented type 1 cytokine (e.g., IFN-gamma) and granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor secretion. By contrast, type 2 cytokine (e.g., interleukin 10) secretion by the activated TDLN cells was significantly reduced. The in vivo antitumor reactivity of TDLN cells activated through 4-1BB in conjunction with CD3/CD28 pathways was examined using an adoptive immunotherapy model. The number of pulmonary metastases was significantly reduced and survival was prolonged after the transfer of anti-CD3/anti-CD28/anti-4-1BB-activated TDLN cells compared with an equivalent number of cells activated without anti-4-1BB. The antitumor effect through 4-1BB involvement during CD28 costimulation was dependent on IFN-gamma production and abrogated after IFN-gamma neutralization. By contrast, interleukin 10 neutralization resulted in significantly enhanced tumor regression. These results indicate that costimulation of TDLN cells through newly induced 4-1BB and CD3/CD28 signaling can significantly increase antitumor reactivity by shifting T-cell responses toward a type 1 cytokine pattern while concomitantly decreasing type 2 responses.

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