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PLoS One. 2011 Mar 3;6(3):e17515. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0017515.

Murine melanoma-infiltrating dendritic cells are defective in antigen presenting function regardless of the presence of CD4CD25 regulatory T cells.

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Malaghan Institute of Medical Research, Wellington, New Zealand.


Tumor-infiltrating dendritic cells are often ineffective at presenting tumor-derived antigen in vivo, a defect usually ascribed to the suppressive tumor environment. We investigated the effects of depleting CD4(+)CD25(+) "natural" regulatory T cells (Treg) on the frequency, phenotype and function of total dendritic cell populations in B16.OVA tumors and in tumor-draining lymph nodes. Intraperitoneal injection of the anti-CD25 monoclonal antibody PC61 reduced Treg frequency in blood and tumors, but did not affect the frequency of tumor-infiltrating dendritic cells, or their expression of CD40, CD86 and MHCII. Tumor-infiltrating dendritic cells from PC61-treated or untreated mice induced the proliferation of allogeneic T cells in vitro, but could not induce proliferation of OVA-specific OTI and OTII T cells unless specific peptide antigen was added in culture. Some proliferation of naïve, OVA-specific OTI T cells, but not OTII T cells, was observed in the tumor-draining LN of mice carrying B16.OVA tumors, however, this was not improved by PC61 treatment. Experiments using RAG1(-/-) hosts adoptively transferred with OTI and CD25-depleted OTII cells also failed to show improved OTI and OTII T cell proliferation in vivo compared to C57BL/6 hosts. We conclude that the defective presentation of B16.OVA tumor antigen by tumor-infiltrating dendritic cells and in the tumor-draining lymph node is not due to the presence of "natural" CD4(+)CD25(+) Treg.

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