Generation of populations of antigen-specific cytotoxic T cells using DCs transfected with DNA construct encoding HER2/neu tumor antigen epitopes
BMC ImmunologyBMC series – open, inclusive and trusted201718:31
© The Author(s). 2017
Published: 20 June 2017
Recent fundamental and clinical studies have confirmed the effectiveness of utilizing the potential of the immune system to remove tumor cells disseminated in a patient’s body. Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) are considered the main effectors in cell-mediated antitumor immunity. Approaches based on antigen presentation to CTLs by dendritic cells (DCs) are currently being intensively studied, because DCs are more efficient in tumor antigen presentation to T cells through their initiation of strong specific antitumor immune responses than other types of antigen-presenting cells. Today, it has become possible to isolate CTLs specific for certain antigenic determinants from heterogeneous populations of mononuclear cells. This enables direct and specific cell-mediated immune responses against cells carrying certain antigens. The aim of the present study was to develop an optimized protocol for generating CTL populations specific for epitopes of tumor-associated antigen HER2/neu, and to assess their cytotoxic effects against the HER2/neu-expressing MCF-7 tumor cell line.
The developed protocol included sequential stages of obtaining mature DCs from PBMCs from HLA A*02-positive healthy donors, magnet-assisted transfection of mature DCs with the pMax plasmid encoding immunogenic peptides HER2 p369–377 (E75 peptide) and HER2 p689–697 (E88 peptide), coculture of antigen-activated DCs with autologous lymphocytes, magnetic-activated sorting of CTLs specific to HER2 epitopes, and stimulation of isolated CTLs with cytokines (IL-2, IL-7, and IL-15).
The resulting CTL populations were characterized by high contents of CD8+ cells (71.5% in cultures of E88-specific T cells and 90.2% in cultures of E75-specific T cells) and displayed strong cytotoxic effects against the MCF-7 cell line (percentages of damaged tumor cells in samples under investigation were 60.2 and 65.7% for E88- and E75-specific T cells, respectively; level of spontaneous death of target cells was 17.9%).
The developed protocol improves the efficiency of obtaining HER2/neu-specific CTLs and can be further used to obtain cell-based vaccines for eradicating targeted tumor cells to prevent tumor recurrence after the major tumor burden has been eliminated and preventing metastasis in patients with HER2-overexpressing tumors.
Cytotoxic T cellsCTLsAntigen-specific cellsDendritic cellsHER2/neuTumor-associated antigenAntitumor immune response