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Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2006 Nov;55(11):1384-95. Epub 2006 Feb 4.

Hypochlorous acid enhances immunogenicity and uptake of allogeneic ovarian tumor cells by dendritic cells to cross-prime tumor-specific T cells.

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Department of Immunology and Molecular Pathology, Division of Infection and Immunity, UCL, Windeyer Building, 46 Cleveland Street, W1T 4JF, London, UK.



Ovarian cancer commonly relapses after remission and new strategies to target microscopic residual diseases are required. One approach is to activate tumor-specific cytotoxic T cells with dendritic cells loaded with tumor cells. In order to enhance their immunogenicity, ovarian tumor cells (SK-OV-3, which express two well-characterized antigens HER-2/neu and MUC-1) were killed by oxidation with hypochlorous acid (HOCl).


Treatment for 1 h with 60 microM HOCl was found to induce necrosis in all SK-OV-3 cells. Oxidized, but not live, SK-OV-3 was rapidly taken up by monocyte-derived dendritic cells, and induced partial dendritic cell maturation. Dendritic cells cultured from HLA-A2 healthy volunteers were loaded with oxidized SK-OV-3 (HLA-A2-) and co-cultured with autologous T cells. Responding T cells were tested for specificity after a further round of antigen stimulation. In ELISPOT assays, T cells produced interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) in response to the immunizing cellular antigen, and also to peptides coding for MUC-1 and HER-2/neu HLA-A2 restricted epitopes, demonstrating efficient cross-presentation of cell-associated antigens. In contrast, no responses were seen after priming with heat-killed or HCl-killed SK-OV-3, indicating that HOCl oxidation and not cell death/necrosis per se enhanced the immunogenicity of SK-OV-3. Finally, T cells stimulated with oxidized SK-OV-3 showed no cross-reaction to oxidized melanoma cells, nor vice versa, demonstrating that the response was tumor-type specific.


Immunization with oxidized ovarian tumor cell lines may represent an improved therapeutic strategy to stimulate a polyclonal anti-tumor cellular immune response and hence extend remission in ovarian cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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