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PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e47234. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0047234. Epub 2013 Feb 7.

IRX-2, a novel immunotherapeutic, enhances functions of human dendritic cells.

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1
University of Pittsburgh, Department of Pathology and University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In a recent phase II clinical trial for HNSCC patients, IRX-2, a cell-derived biologic, promoted T-cell infiltration into the tumor and prolonged overall survival. Mechanisms responsible for these IRX-2-mediated effects are unknown. We hypothesized that IRX-2 enhanced tumor antigen-(TA)-specific immunity by up-regulating functions of dendritic cells (DC).

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

Monocyte-derived DC obtained from 18 HNSCC patients and 12 healthy donors were matured using IRX-2 or a mix of TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 ("conv. mix"). Multicolor flow cytometry was used to study the DC phenotype and antigen processing machinery (APM) component expression. ELISPOT and cytotoxicity assays were used to evaluate tumor-reactive cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL). IL-12p70 and IL-10 production by DC was measured by Luminex® and DC migration toward CCL21 was tested in transwell migration assays. IRX-2-matured DC functions were compared with those of conv. mix-matured DC. IRX-2-matured DC expressed higher levels (p<0.05) of CD11c, CD40, CCR7 as well as LMP2, TAP1, TAP2 and tapasin than conv. mix-matured DC. IRX-2-matured DC migrated significantly better towards CCL21, produced more IL-12p70 and had a higher IL12p70/IL-10 ratio than conv. mix-matured DC (p<0.05 for all). IRX-2-matured DC carried a higher density of tumor antigen-derived peptides, and CTL primed with these DC mediated higher cytotoxicity against tumor targets (p<0.05) compared to the conv. mix-matured DC.

CONCLUSION:

Excellent ability of IRX-2 to induce ex vivo DC maturation in HNSCC patients explains, in part, its clinical benefits and emphasizes its utility in ex vivo maturation of DC generated for therapy.

PMID:
23408925
PMCID:
PMC3567103
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0047234
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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