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Cytotoxic activity toward mouse melanoma following immunization of mice with transfected cells expressing a human melanoma-associated antigen.

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Institute for Human Genetics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznan.


B78H1 is a mouse melanoma cell line that is weakly antigenic in syngeneic mice. In an attempt to augment their immunogenicity, B78H1 cells were transfected with genomic DNA from a line of human melanoma cells expressing a 96-kDa melanoma-associated antigen (ICAM-1). A selective co-amplification procedure was employed that generated a population of transfected cells (Ui11) that expressed fivefold higher quantities of the melanoma-associated antigen than the cells from which the DNA was obtained. To test the transfected cells' relative capacity to generate a cellular immune response against B78H1 cells, Ui11 cells and B78H1 cells were administered (in parallel) to syngeneic C57BL/6 mice, susceptible to the growth of the melanoma. Each cell line (lethally irradiated beforehand) was injected intraperitoneally at weekly intervals into the mice. After two or three injections, a standard chromium-release assay was employed to detect the presence of cellular immunity toward B78H1 cells. The population of spleen cells from mice immunized with the transfected melanoma cells exhibited higher levels of cytotoxicity toward B78H1 cells than spleen cells from mice immunized with equivalent numbers of nontransfected cells. This observation is consistent with the notion that the transfected human melanoma-associated antigen acted as a "second antigen" capable of potentiating cellular immune responses against the weakly immunogenic determinants of the mouse melanoma cells. The introduction of genes for foreign antigens into weakly antigenic tumor cells may generate immunogens that can lead to augmented anti-tumor cellular immune responses.

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