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Cancer Immunol Immunother. 1995 Apr;40(4):219-27.

Biological response modifiers (BRM) as antigens. III. T cell lines specific for BRM kill tumor cells in a BRM-specific manner.

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Second Division of Internal Medicine, Kyoto University Faculty of Medicine, Japan.


In order to investigate tumoricidal effector cells in therapy by biological response modifiers (BRM) such as Propionibacterium acnes, bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), Streptococcus pyogenes and a protein-bound polysaccharide (PSK), we established T cell lines specific for each BRM from BALB/c mice immunized with the corresponding BRM. These T cell lines proliferated and produced interleukin-2 (IL-2) and/or IL-4, but only in the presence of the relevant BRM and BALB/c spleen cells as the antigen and antigen-presenting cells respectively. Cross-functional experiments indicated that each BRM acts as a nominal antigen, but not as a non-specific immunostimulator. In addition, the T cell lines killed Ia-positive syngeneic B lymphoma cells, but only in the presence of the relevant BRM. These experiments excluded the possibility of cytotoxic effects by each BRM. The T cell lines and clones also killed Ia-negative bystander target cells, but only in the presence of both a relevant antigen and antigen-presenting cells. The T cell clones specific for S. pyogenes or P. acnes tested were Thy1+, L3T4+ and Lyt2-. These results indicate that some BRM exert tumoricidal activity by inducing T cells that recognize them as an antigen and kill tumor cells in an antigen-specific manner. The T cells killed tumor targets in either a tumor-necrosis-factor(TNF)-dependent or a TNF-independent manner. The mediator of the latter pathway remains to be elucidated.

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