Send to

Choose Destination
Eur J Immunol. 2014 Jan;44(1):69-79. doi: 10.1002/eji.201343718. Epub 2013 Nov 21.

Tumor-specific CD4+ T cells maintain effector and memory tumor-specific CD8+ T cells.

Author information

Laboratory of Molecular and Tumor Immunology, Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center, Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, Providence Cancer Center, Portland, OR, USA; Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR, USA.


Immunotherapies that augment antitumor T cells have had recent success for treating patients with cancer. Here we examined whether tumor-specific CD4(+) T cells enhance CD8(+) T-cell adoptive immunotherapy in a lymphopenic environment. Our model employed physiological doses of tyrosinase-related protein 1-specific CD4(+) transgenic T cells-CD4(+) T cells and pmel-CD8(+) T cells that when transferred individually were subtherapeutic; however, when transferred together provided significant (p ≤ 0.001) therapeutic efficacy. Therapeutic efficacy correlated with increased numbers of effector and memory CD8(+) T cells with tumor-specific cytokine expression. When combined with CD4(+) T cells, transfer of total (naïve and effector) or effector CD8(+) T cells were highly effective, suggesting CD4(+) T cells can help mediate therapeutic effects by maintaining function of activated CD8(+) T cells. In addition, CD4(+) T cells had a pronounced effect in the early posttransfer period, as their elimination within the first 3 days significantly (p < 0.001) reduced therapeutic efficacy. The CD8(+) T cells recovered from mice treated with both CD8(+) and CD4(+) T cells had decreased expression of PD-1 and PD-1-blockade enhanced the therapeutic efficacy of pmel-CD8 alone, suggesting that CD4(+) T cells help reduce CD8(+) T-cell exhaustion. These data support combining immunotherapies that elicit both tumor-specific CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells for treatment of patients with cancer.


CD4+ T-cell help; Cancer immunotherapy; Metastatic melanoma; PD-1; T cell

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center