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J Immunol. 2007 Dec 1;179(11):7244-53.

Defects in the acquisition of CD8 T cell effector function after priming with tumor or soluble antigen can be overcome by the addition of an OX40 agonist.

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Earle A Chiles Research Institute, Robert W Franz Cancer Research Center, Providence Portland Medical Center, Portland, OR 97213, USA.


Several members of the TNFR superfamily, including OX40 (CD134), 4-1BB (CD137), and CD27 provide critical costimulatory signals that promote T cell survival and differentiation in vivo. Although several studies have demonstrated that OX40 engagement can enhance CD4 T cell responses, the mechanisms by which OX40-mediated signals augment CD8 T cell responses are still unclear. Previously, we and others have shown that OX40 engagement on Ag-specific CD8 T cells led to increased CD8 T cell expansion, survival, and the generation of greater numbers of long-lived memory cells. Currently, we demonstrate that provision of an OX40 agonist during the activation of naive CD8 T cells primed in vivo with either soluble or tumor-associated Ag significantly augments granzyme B expression and CD8 T cell cytolytic function through an IL-2-dependent mechanism. Furthermore, augmented CTL function required direct engagement of OX40 on the responding CD8 T cells and was associated with increased antitumor activity against established prostate tumors and enhanced the survival of tumor-bearing hosts. Thus, in the absence of danger signals, as is often the case in a tumor-bearing host, provision of an OX40 agonist can overcome defective CD8 T cell priming and lead to a functional antitumor response in vivo.

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