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J Immunol. 2007 Aug 1;179(3):1669-80.

IFN-gamma and Fas ligand are required for graft-versus-tumor activity against renal cell carcinoma in the absence of lethal graft-versus-host disease.

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Department of Immunology, Laboratory of the Immunology of Bone Marrow Transplantation, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021, USA.


To determine the mechanisms of graft-versus-tumor (GVT) activity in the absence of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) against a solid tumor, we established two allogeneic bone marrow transplantation models with a murine renal cell carcinoma (RENCA). The addition of 0.3 x 10(6) donor CD8(+) T cells to the allograft increased the survival of tumor-bearing mice without causing GVHD. The analysis of CD8(+) T cells deficient in cytotoxic molecules demonstrated that anti-RENCA activity is dependent on IFN-gamma and Fas ligand (FasL), but does not require soluble or membrane-bound TNF-alpha, perforin, or TRAIL. Recipients of IFN-gamma(-/-) CD8(+) T cells are unable to reject RENCA compared with recipients of wild-type CD8(+) T cells and, importantly, neither group develops severe GVHD. IFN-gamma(-/-) CD8(+) T cells derived from transplanted mice are less able to kill RENCA cells in vitro, while pretreatment of RENCA cells with IFN-gamma enhances class I and FasL expression and rescues the lytic capacity of IFN-gamma(-/-) CD8(+) T cells. These results demonstrate that the addition of low numbers of selected donor CD8(+) T cells to the allograft can mediate GVT activity without lethal GVHD against murine renal cell carcinoma, and this GVT activity is dependent on IFN-gamma and FasL.

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