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J Immunol. 1998 Jan 15;160(2):661-6.

MHC class II-transfected tumor cells directly present antigen to tumor-specific CD4+ T lymphocytes.

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Department of Biology, University of Maryland, Baltimore 21250, USA.


We have developed and shown to be efficacious an immunotherapeutic strategy to enhance the generation of tumor-specific CD4+ T helper lymphocytes. The approach uses autologous tumor cells genetically modified to express syngeneic MHC class II genes as cell-based immunogens and is based on the hypothesis that tumor cells directly present tumor Ags to CD4+ T cells. Since the conventional pathway for CD4+ T cell activation is indirect via professional APC, induction of immunity following immunization with class II-transfected tumor cells was examined in bone marrow chimeric mice. Both tumor and host-derived cells are APC for tumor Ags, suggesting that the efficacy of tumor cell vaccines can be significantly improved by genetic modifications that enhance tumor cell Ag presentation.

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