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J Immunol. 2009 Oct 15;183(8):4848-52. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.0900848.

Cutting Edge: Tumor-specific CD8+ T cells infiltrating prostatic tumors are induced to become suppressor cells.

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  • 1Tumor Immunity and Tolerance Section, Laboratory of Molecular Immunoregulation, Cancer and Inflammation Program, National Cancer Institute-Frederick, Frederick, MD 21702, USA.


We previously reported that naive, tumor-specific CD8(+) (TcR-I) T cells transferred into prostate tumor-bearing mice traffic to the prostate where they become tolerized. We now report that TcR-I cells suppress the proliferation of naive T cells. This suppression is mediated at least in part by secreted factors, and the suppressive activity can be blocked by Abs directed against TGF-beta. We further report that TcR-I cells must infiltrate the prostate to acquire suppressive activity. Delivery of tumor-specific CD4(+) T cells prevents the conversion of TcR-I cells into suppressor cells. Taken together, our findings may have critical implications for sustaining T cell responsiveness during immunotherapy, as the development of suppressor cells in the tumor microenvironment may eliminate the potency of T cells primed in the periphery or delivered during adoptive immunotherapy.

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