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Int J Cancer. 2008 Jun 15;122(12):2774-83. doi: 10.1002/ijc.23444.

alpha-Galactosylceramide-loaded, antigen-expressing B cells prime a wide spectrum of antitumor immunity.

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Laboratory of Immunology, College of Pharmacy, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.


Most of the current tumor vaccines successfully elicit strong protection against tumor but offer little therapeutic effect against existing tumors, highlighting the need for a more effective vaccine strategy. Vaccination with tumor antigen-presenting cells can induce antitumor immune responses. We have previously shown that NKT-licensed B cells prime cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) with epitope peptide and generate prophylactic/therapeutic antitumor effects. To extend our B cell vaccine approach to the whole antigen, and to overcome the MHC restriction, we used a nonreplicating adenovirus to transduce B cells with antigenic gene. Primary B cells transduced with an adenovirus-encoding truncated Her-2/neu (AdHM) efficiently expressed Her-2/neu. Compared with the moderate antitumor activity induced by vaccination with adenovirus-transduced B cells (B/AdHM), vaccination with alpha-galactosylceramide-loaded B/AdHM (B/AdHM/alpha GalCer) induced significantly stronger antitumor immunity, especially in the tumor-bearing mice. The depletion study showed that CD4(+), CD8(+) and NK cells were all necessary for the therapeutic immunity. Confirming the results of the depletion study, B/AdHM/alpha GalCer vaccination induced cytotoxic NK cell responses but B/AdHM did not. Vaccination with B/AdHM/alpha GalCer generated Her-2/neu-specific antibodies more efficiently than B/AdHM immunization. More importantly, B/AdHM/alpha GalCer could prime Her-2/neu-specific cytotoxic T cells more efficiently and durably than B/AdHM. CD4(+) cells appeared to be necessary for the induction of antibody and CTL responses. Our results demonstrate that, with the help of NKT cells, antigen-transduced B cells efficiently induce innate immunity as well as a wide range of adaptive immunity against the tumor, suggesting that they could be used to develop a novel cellular vaccine.

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