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Int J Cancer. 1994 May 1;57(3):297-305.

HLA restriction and T-cell-receptor V beta gene expression of cytotoxic T lymphocytes reactive with human squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck.

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Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, PA 15213.


A human cytotoxic-T-lymphocyte (CTL) line capable of killing autologous tumor (AuTu) cell targets was established from peripheral-blood lymphocytes of a patient with squamous-cell carcinoma of the tongue. The cultured CTL were CD3+CD8+CD11b-HLA-DR+T cell receptor (TCR) alpha/beta+. When tested in 4-hr 51Cr-release assays against various lines of squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) and a variety of non-squamous human tumor and normal cell targets, the CTL were found to lyse the autologous SCCHN cell line (PCI-50) and 7 allogeneic SCCHN lines: PCI-1, -2, -4A, -4B, -13, -30 and -38. Of these tumor cell lines, PCI-13, -30 and -38 shared HLA-A2 locus with the AuTu, PCI-50, while PCI-4A and -4B shared HLA-B44 with AuTu. Lysis of AuTu (A2+B44+), PCI-13 (A2+B44-) and PCI-4B (A2- B44+) by the CTL was efficiently inhibited by monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to CD3, CD8, TCR alpha/beta or the major-histocompatibility-complex (MHC)-class-I antigens. MAbs to HLA-A2 antigens inhibited lysis of PCI-50 or PCI-13 targets by the CTL. In cold-target inhibition assays, unlabeled PCI-4B or PCI-13 cells inhibited CTL lysis of AuTu targets. The CTL incubated in the presence of the HLA-A2+ SCCHN PCI-50 or -13, but not an HLA-A2+ gastric carcinoma, produced TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma and GM-CSF. The CTL were tested for their TCR V beta gene expression by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). At week 10 in culture, the time of the highest AuTu cytotoxicity mediated by the CTL line, V beta 6 was expressed by 26% of T cells. Three clones, obtained by limiting dilution from 10-week CTL and selected for high cytotoxicity against AuTu, were found to be V beta6+. Further analysis of the specificity of these clones indicated lytic activity against PCI-13 (A2+B44-), but not PCI-4B (A2-B44+) targets. In 16-week cultures, which retained AuTu cytotoxicity as well as V beta 6 expression, TCR V beta 2 was also expressed at high frequency (29%), and AuTu-reactive clones were found to be V beta 2+. Our results indicate that at least 2 different CTL populations (V beta 6+ and V beta 2+) are able to recognize SCCHN-associated antigen(s) and that the V beta 6+ T cells are HLA-A2 restricted, while V beta 2+ T cells may be HLA-B44 restricted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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