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On February 23, 2018, PubMed Central Canada (PMC Canada) will be taken offline permanently. No author manuscripts will be deleted, and the approximately 2,900 manuscripts authored by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)-funded researchers currently in the archive will be copied to the National Research Council’s (NRC) Digital Repository over the coming months. These manuscripts along with all other content will also remain publicly searchable on PubMed Central (US) and Europe PubMed Central, meaning such manuscripts will continue to be compliant with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications.

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1.  VEGF potentiates GD3-mediated immune suppression by human ovarian cancer cells 
Purpose
Natural killer T (NKT) cells are important mediators of anti-tumor immune responses. We have previously shown that ovarian cancers shed the ganglioside GD3, which inhibits NKT cell activation. Ovarian cancers also secrete high levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). In this study, we sought to test the hypothesis that VEGF production by ovarian cancers suppresses NKT cell-mediated anti-tumor responses.
Experimental Design
To investigate the effects of VEGF on CD1d-mediated NKT cell activation, a conditioned media model was established wherein the supernatants from ovarian cancer cell lines (OV-CAR-3 and SK-OV-3) were used to treat CD1d-expressing antigen presenting cells (APC) and co-cultured with NKT hybridomas. Ovarian cancer associated-VEGF was inhibited by treatment with Bevacizumab and Genistein, conditioned medium was collected and CD1d-mediated NKT cell responses were assayed by ELISA.
Results
Ovarian cancer tissue and ascites contain lymphocytic infiltrates, suggesting that immune cells traffic to tumors, but are then inhibited by immunosuppressive molecules within the tumor microenvironment. OV-CAR-3 and SK-OV-3 cell lines produce high levels of VEGF and GD3. Pretreatment of antigen presenting cells with ascites or conditioned medium from OV-CAR-3 and SK-OV-3 blocked CD1d-mediated NKT cell activation. Inhibition of VEGF resulted in a concomitant reduction in GD3 levels and restoration of NKT cell responses.
Conclusions
We found that VEGF inhibition restores NKT cell function in an in-vitro ovarian cancer model. These studies suggest that the combination of immune modulation with anti-angiogenic treatment has therapeutic potential in ovarian cancer.
doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-15-2518
PMCID: PMC4987212  PMID: 27076627
2.  31st Annual Meeting and Associated Programs of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC 2016): part one 
Lundqvist, Andreas | van Hoef, Vincent | Zhang, Xiaonan | Wennerberg, Erik | Lorent, Julie | Witt, Kristina | Sanz, Laia Masvidal | Liang, Shuo | Murray, Shannon | Larsson, Ola | Kiessling, Rolf | Mao, Yumeng | Sidhom, John-William | Bessell, Catherine A. | Havel, Jonathan | Schneck, Jonathan | Chan, Timothy A. | Sachsenmeier, Eliot | Woods, David | Berglund, Anders | Ramakrishnan, Rupal | Sodre, Andressa | Weber, Jeffrey | Zappasodi, Roberta | Li, Yanyun | Qi, Jingjing | Wong, Philip | Sirard, Cynthia | Postow, Michael | Newman, Walter | Koon, Henry | Velcheti, Vamsidhar | Callahan, Margaret K. | Wolchok, Jedd D. | Merghoub, Taha | Lum, Lawrence G. | Choi, Minsig | Thakur, Archana | Deol, Abhinav | Dyson, Gregory | Shields, Anthony | Haymaker, Cara | Uemura, Marc | Murthy, Ravi | James, Marihella | Wang, Daqing | Brevard, Julie | Monaghan, Catherine | Swann, Suzanne | Geib, James | Cornfeld, Mark | Chunduru, Srinivas | Agrawal, Sudhir | Yee, Cassian | Wargo, Jennifer | Patel, Sapna P. | Amaria, Rodabe | Tawbi, Hussein | Glitza, Isabella | Woodman, Scott | Hwu, Wen-Jen | Davies, Michael A. | Hwu, Patrick | Overwijk, Willem W. | Bernatchez, Chantale | Diab, Adi | Massarelli, Erminia | Segal, Neil H. | Ribrag, Vincent | Melero, Ignacio | Gangadhar, Tara C. | Urba, Walter | Schadendorf, Dirk | Ferris, Robert L. | Houot, Roch | Morschhauser, Franck | Logan, Theodore | Luke, Jason J. | Sharfman, William | Barlesi, Fabrice | Ott, Patrick A. | Mansi, Laura | Kummar, Shivaani | Salles, Gilles | Carpio, Cecilia | Meier, Roland | Krishnan, Suba | McDonald, Dan | Maurer, Matthew | Gu, Xuemin | Neely, Jaclyn | Suryawanshi, Satyendra | Levy, Ronald | Khushalani, Nikhil | Wu, Jennifer | Zhang, Jinyu | Basher, Fahmin | Rubinstein, Mark | Bucsek, Mark | Qiao, Guanxi | MacDonald, Cameron | Hylander, Bonnie | Repasky, Elizabeth | Chatterjee, Shilpak | Daenthanasanmak, Anusara | Chakraborty, Paramita | Toth, Kyle | Meek, Megan | Garrett-Mayer, Elizabeth | Nishimura, Michael | Paulos, Chrystal | Beeson, Craig | Yu, Xuezhong | Mehrotra, Shikhar | Zhao, Fei | Evans, Kathy | Xiao, Christine | Holtzhausen, Alisha | Hanks, Brent A. | Scharping, Nicole | Menk, Ashley V. | Moreci, Rebecca | Whetstone, Ryan | Dadey, Rebekah | Watkins, Simon | Ferris, Robert | Delgoffe, Greg M. | Peled, Jonathan | Devlin, Sean | Staffas, Anna | Lumish, Melissa | Rodriguez, Kori Porosnicu | Ahr, Katya | Perales, Miguel | Giralt, Sergio | Taur, Ying | Pamer, Eric | van den Brink, Marcel R. 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Eric | Fry, Terry | Rao, Arjun A. | Teyssier, Noam | Pfeil, Jacob | Sgourakis, Nikolaos | Salama, Sofie | Haussler, David | Richman, Sarah A. | Nunez-Cruz, Selene | Gershenson, Zack | Mourelatos, Zissimos | Barrett, David | Grupp, Stephan | Milone, Michael | Rodriguez-Garcia, Alba | Robinson, Matthew K. | Adams, Gregory P. | Powell, Daniel J. | Santos, João | Havunen, Riikka | Siurala, Mikko | Cervera-Carrascón, Víctor | Parviainen, Suvi | Antilla, Marjukka | Hemminki, Akseli | Sethuraman, Jyothi | Santiago, Laurelis | Chen, Jie Qing | Dai, Zhimin | Wardell, Seth | Bender, James | Lotze, Michael T. | Sha, Huizi | Su, Shu | Ding, Naiqing | Liu, Baorui | Stevanovic, Sanja | Pasetto, Anna | Helman, Sarah R. | Gartner, Jared J. | Prickett, Todd D. | Robbins, Paul F. | Rosenberg, Steven A. | Hinrichs, Christian S. | Bhatia, Shailender | Burgess, Melissa | Zhang, Hui | Lee, Tien | Klingemann, Hans | Soon-Shiong, Patrick | Nghiem, Paul | Kirkwood, John M. | Rossi, John M. | Sherman, Marika | Xue, Allen | Shen, Yueh-wei | Navale, Lynn | Rosenberg, Steven A. | Kochenderfer, James N. | Bot, Adrian | Veerapathran, Anandaraman | Gokuldass, Aishwarya | Stramer, Amanda | Sethuraman, Jyothi | Blaskovich, Michelle A. | Wiener, Doris | Frank, Ian | Santiago, Laurelis | Rabinovich, Brian | Fardis, Maria | Bender, James | Lotze, Michael T. | Waller, Edmund K. | Li, Jian-Ming | Petersen, Christopher | Blazar, Bruce R. | Li, Jingxia | Giver, Cynthia R. | Wang, Ziming | Grossenbacher, Steven K. | Sturgill, Ian | Canter, Robert J. | Murphy, William J. | Zhang, Congcong | Burger, Michael C. | Jennewein, Lukas | Waldmann, Anja | Mittelbronn, Michel | Tonn, Torsten | Steinbach, Joachim P. | Wels, Winfried S. | Williams, Jason B. | Zha, Yuanyuan | Gajewski, Thomas F. | Williams, LaTerrica C. | Krenciute, Giedre | Kalra, Mamta | Louis, Chrystal | Gottschalk, Stephen | Xin, Gang | Schauder, David | Jiang, Aimin | Joshi, Nikhil | Cui, Weiguo | Zeng, Xue | Menk, Ashley V. | Scharping, Nicole | Delgoffe, Greg M. | Zhao, Zeguo | Hamieh, Mohamad | Eyquem, Justin | Gunset, Gertrude | Bander, Neil | Sadelain, Michel | Askmyr, David | Abolhalaj, Milad | Lundberg, Kristina | Greiff, Lennart | Lindstedt, Malin | Angell, Helen K. | Kim, Kyoung-Mee | Kim, Seung-Tae | Kim, Sung | Sharpe, Alan D. | Ogden, Julia | Davenport, Anna | Hodgson, Darren R. | Barrett, Carl | Lee, Jeeyun | Kilgour, Elaine | Hanson, Jodi | Caspell, Richard | Karulin, Alexey | Lehmann, Paul | Ansari, Tameem | Schiller, Annemarie | Sundararaman, Srividya | Lehmann, Paul | Hanson, Jodi | Roen, Diana | Karulin, Alexey | Lehmann, Paul | Ayers, Mark | Levitan, Diane | Arreaza, Gladys | Liu, Fang | Mogg, Robin | Bang, Yung-Jue | O’Neil, Bert | Cristescu, Razvan | Friedlander, Philip | Wassman, Karl | Kyi, Chrisann | Oh, William | Bhardwaj, Nina | Bornschlegl, Svetlana | Gustafson, Michael P. | Gastineau, Dennis A. | Parney, Ian F. | Dietz, Allan B. | Carvajal-Hausdorf, Daniel | Mani, Nikita | Velcheti, Vamsidhar | Schalper, Kurt | Rimm, David | Chang, Serena | Levy, Ronald | Kurland, John | Krishnan, Suba | Ahlers, Christoph Matthias | Jure-Kunkel, Maria | Cohen, Lewis | Maecker, Holden | Kohrt, Holbrook | Chen, Shuming | Crabill, George | Pritchard, Theresa | McMiller, Tracee | Pardoll, Drew | Pan, Fan | Topalian, Suzanne | Danaher, Patrick | Warren, Sarah | Dennis, Lucas | White, Andrew M. | D’Amico, Leonard | Geller, Melissa | Disis, Mary L. | Beechem, Joseph | Odunsi, Kunle | Fling, Steven | Derakhshandeh, Roshanak | Webb, Tonya J. | Dubois, Sigrid | Conlon, Kevin | Bryant, Bonita | Hsu, Jennifer | Beltran, Nancy | Müller, Jürgen | Waldmann, Thomas | Duhen, Rebekka | Duhen, Thomas | Thompson, Lucas | Montler, Ryan | Weinberg, Andrew | Kates, Max | Early, Brandon | Yusko, Erik | Schreiber, Taylor H. | Bivalacqua, Trinity J. | Ayers, Mark | Lunceford, Jared | Nebozhyn, Michael | Murphy, Erin | Loboda, Andrey | Kaufman, David R. | Albright, Andrew | Cheng, Jonathan | Kang, S. Peter | Shankaran, Veena | Piha-Paul, Sarina A. | Yearley, Jennifer | Seiwert, Tanguy | Ribas, Antoni | McClanahan, Terrill K. | Cristescu, Razvan | Mogg, Robin | Ayers, Mark | Albright, Andrew | Murphy, Erin | Yearley, Jennifer | Sher, Xinwei | Liu, Xiao Qiao | Nebozhyn, Michael | Lunceford, Jared | Joe, Andrew | Cheng, Jonathan | Plimack, Elizabeth | Ott, Patrick A. | McClanahan, Terrill K. | Loboda, Andrey | Kaufman, David R. | Forrest-Hay, Alex | Guyre, Cheryl A. | Narumiya, Kohei | Delcommenne, Marc | Hirsch, Heather A. | Deshpande, Amit | Reeves, Jason | Shu, Jenny | Zi, Tong | Michaelson, Jennifer | Law, Debbie | Trehu, Elizabeth | Sathyanaryanan, Sriram | Hodkinson, Brendan P. | Hutnick, Natalie A. | Schaffer, Michael E. | Gormley, Michael | Hulett, Tyler | Jensen, Shawn | Ballesteros-Merino, Carmen | Dubay, Christopher | Afentoulis, Michael | Reddy, Ashok | David, Larry | Fox, Bernard | Jayant, Kumar | Agrawal, Swati | Agrawal, Rajendra | Jeyakumar, Ghayathri | Kim, Seongho | Kim, Heejin | Silski, Cynthia | Suisham, Stacey | Heath, Elisabeth | Vaishampayan, Ulka | Vandeven, Natalie | Viller, Natasja Nielsen | O’Connor, Alison | Chen, Hui | Bossen, Bolette | Sievers, Eric | Uger, Robert | Nghiem, Paul | Johnson, Lisa | Kao, Hsiang-Fong | Hsiao, Chin-Fu | Lai, Shu-Chuan | Wang, Chun-Wei | Ko, Jenq-Yuh | Lou, Pei-Jen | Lee, Tsai-Jan | Liu, Tsang-Wu | Hong, Ruey-Long | Kearney, Staci J. | Black, Joshua C. | Landis, Benjamin J. | Koegler, Sally | Hirsch, Brooke | Gianani, Roberto | Kim, Jeffrey | He, Ming-Xiao | Zhang, Bingqing | Su, Nan | Luo, Yuling | Ma, Xiao-Jun | Park, Emily | Kim, Dae Won | Copploa, Domenico | Kothari, Nishi | doo Chang, Young | Kim, Richard | Kim, Namyong | Lye, Melvin | Wan, Ee | Kim, Namyong | Lye, Melvin | Wan, Ee | Kim, Namyong | Lye, Melvin | Wan, Ee | Knaus, Hanna A. | Berglund, Sofia | Hackl, Hubert | Karp, Judith E. | Gojo, Ivana | Luznik, Leo | Hong, Henoch S. | Koch, Sven D. | Scheel, Birgit | Gnad-Vogt, Ulrike | Kallen, Karl-Josef | Wiegand, Volker | Backert, Linus | Kohlbacher, Oliver | Hoerr, Ingmar | Fotin-Mleczek, Mariola | Billingsley, James M. | Koguchi, Yoshinobu | Conrad, Valerie | Miller, William | Gonzalez, Iliana | Poplonski, Tomasz | Meeuwsen, Tanisha | Howells-Ferreira, Ana | Rattray, Rogan | Campbell, Mary | Bifulco, Carlo | Dubay, Christopher | Bahjat, Keith | Curti, Brendan | Urba, Walter | Vetsika, E-K | Kallergi, G. | Aggouraki, Despoina | Lyristi, Z. | Katsarlinos, P. | Koinis, Filippos | Georgoulias, V. | Kotsakis, Athanasios | Martin, Nathan T. | Aeffner, Famke | Kearney, Staci J. | Black, Joshua C. | Cerkovnik, Logan | Pratte, Luke | Kim, Rebecca | Hirsch, Brooke | Krueger, Joseph | Gianani, Roberto | Martínez-Usatorre, Amaia | Jandus, Camilla | Donda, Alena | Carretero-Iglesia, Laura | Speiser, Daniel E. | Zehn, Dietmar | Rufer, Nathalie | Romero, Pedro | Panda, Anshuman | Mehnert, Janice | Hirshfield, Kim M. | Riedlinger, Greg | Damare, Sherri | Saunders, Tracie | Sokol, Levi | Stein, Mark | Poplin, Elizabeth | Rodriguez-Rodriguez, Lorna | Silk, Ann | Chan, Nancy | Frankel, Melissa | Kane, Michael | Malhotra, Jyoti | Aisner, Joseph | Kaufman, Howard L. | Ali, Siraj | Ross, Jeffrey | White, Eileen | Bhanot, Gyan | Ganesan, Shridar | Monette, Anne | Bergeron, Derek | Amor, Amira Ben | Meunier, Liliane | Caron, Christine | Morou, Antigoni | Kaufmann, Daniel | Liberman, Moishe | Jurisica, Igor | Mes-Masson, Anne-Marie | Hamzaoui, Kamel | Lapointe, Rejean | Mongan, Ann | Ku, Yuan-Chieh | Tom, Warren | Sun, Yongming | Pankov, Alex | Looney, Tim | Au-Young, Janice | Hyland, Fiona | Conroy, Jeff | Morrison, Carl | Glenn, Sean | Burgher, Blake | Ji, He | Gardner, Mark | Mongan, Ann | Omilian, Angela R. | Conroy, Jeff | Bshara, Wiam | Angela, Omilian | Burgher, Blake | Ji, He | Glenn, Sean | Morrison, Carl | Mongan, Ann | Obeid, Joseph M. | Erdag, Gulsun | Smolkin, Mark E. | Deacon, Donna H. | Patterson, James W. | Chen, Lieping | Bullock, Timothy N. | Slingluff, Craig L. | Obeid, Joseph M. | Erdag, Gulsun | Deacon, Donna H. | Slingluff, Craig L. | Bullock, Timothy N. | Loffredo, John T. | Vuyyuru, Raja | Beyer, Sophie | Spires, Vanessa M. | Fox, Maxine | Ehrmann, Jon M. | Taylor, Katrina A. | Korman, Alan J. | Graziano, Robert F. | Page, David | Sanchez, Katherine | Ballesteros-Merino, Carmen | Martel, Maritza | Bifulco, Carlo | Urba, Walter | Fox, Bernard | Patel, Sapna P. | De Macedo, Mariana Petaccia | Qin, Yong | Reuben, Alex | Spencer, Christine | Guindani, Michele | Bassett, Roland | Wargo, Jennifer | Racolta, Adriana | Kelly, Brian | Jones, Tobin | Polaske, Nathan | Theiss, Noah | Robida, Mark | Meridew, Jeffrey | Habensus, Iva | Zhang, Liping | Pestic-Dragovich, Lidija | Tang, Lei | Sullivan, Ryan J. | Logan, Theodore | Khushalani, Nikhil | Margolin, Kim | Koon, Henry | Olencki, Thomas | Hutson, Thomas | Curti, Brendan | Roder, Joanna | Blackmon, Shauna | Roder, Heinrich | Stewart, John | Amin, Asim | Ernstoff, Marc S. | Clark, Joseph I. | Atkins, Michael B. | Kaufman, Howard L. | Sosman, Jeffrey | Weber, Jeffrey | McDermott, David F. | Weber, Jeffrey | Kluger, Harriet | Halaban, Ruth | Snzol, Mario | Roder, Heinrich | Roder, Joanna | Asmellash, Senait | Steingrimsson, Arni | Blackmon, Shauna | Sullivan, Ryan J. | Wang, Chichung | Roman, Kristin | Clement, Amanda | Downing, Sean | Hoyt, Clifford | Harder, Nathalie | Schmidt, Guenter | Schoenmeyer, Ralf | Brieu, Nicolas | Yigitsoy, Mehmet | Madonna, Gabriele | Botti, Gerardo | Grimaldi, Antonio | Ascierto, Paolo A. | Huss, Ralf | Athelogou, Maria | Hessel, Harald | Harder, Nathalie | Buchner, Alexander | Schmidt, Guenter | Stief, Christian | Huss, Ralf | Binnig, Gerd | Kirchner, Thomas | Sellappan, Shankar | Thyparambil, Sheeno | Schwartz, Sarit | Cecchi, Fabiola | Nguyen, Andrew | Vaske, Charles | Hembrough, Todd
Journal for Immunotherapy of Cancer  2016;4(Suppl 1):1-106.
doi:10.1186/s40425-016-0172-7
PMCID: PMC5123387
3.  Enrichment and Expansion with Nano-Artificial Antigen Presenting Cells for Adoptive Immunotherapy 
ACS nano  2015;9(7):6861-6871.
Adoptive immunotherapy (AIT) can mediate durable regression of cancer, but widespread adoption of AIT is limited by the cost and complexity of generating tumor-specific T cells. Here we develop an Enrichment + Expansion strategy using paramagnetic, nanoscale artificial Antigen Presenting Cells (aAPC) to rapidly expand tumor-specific T cells from rare naïve precursors and predicted neo-epitope responses. Nano-aAPC are capable of enriching rare tumor-specific T cells in a magnetic column and subsequently activating them to induce proliferation. Enrichment + Expansion resulted in greater than 1000-fold expansion of both mouse and human tumor-specific T cells in one week, with nano-aAPC based enrichment conferring a proliferation advantage during both in vitro culture and after adoptive transfer in vivo. Robust T cell responses were not only seen for shared tumor antigens, but also for computationally predicted neo-epitopes. Streamlining the rapid generation of large numbers of tumor-specific T cells in a cost-effective fashion through Enrichment + Expansion can be a powerful tool for immunotherapy.
Graphical Abstract
Nanoscale artificial antigen presenting cells (nano-aAPC) are synthesized by conjugating Major Histocompatibility Complex-Peptide and co-stimulatory anti-CD28 to a paramagnetic iron-dextran nanoparticle. Nano-aAPC are thus capable of binding tumor-specific T cells, capturing them in a magnetic column, and subsequently activating them, a process termed Enrichment+Expansion (E+E). E+E induced 1000-fold expansion of naïve tumor-specific cells in one week.
doi:10.1021/acsnano.5b02829
PMCID: PMC5082131  PMID: 26171764
Immunotherapy; Nanoparticles; Adoptive Immunotherapy
4.  Antigen-specific T cell Redirectors: a nanoparticle based approach for redirecting T cells 
Oncotarget  2016;7(42):68503-68512.
Redirection of T cells to target and destroy tumors has become an important clinical tool and major area of research in tumor immunology. Here we present a novel, nanoparticle-based approach to selectively bind antigen-specific cytotoxic T cells (CTL) and redirect them to kill tumors, termed ATR (Antigen-specific T cell Redirectors). ATR were generated by decorating nanoparticles with both an antigen-specific T cell binding moiety, either peptide loaded MHC-Ig dimer or clonotypic anti-TCR antibody, and a model tumor cell binding moiety, anti-CD19 antibody to engage CD19+ tumor cells. ATR stably bind tumor cells and CTL in a dose dependent fashion and stimulate antigen-specific conjugate formation between those cells. ATR induced redirected lysis of tumor cells in vitro, as demonstrated by 51Cr-release killing. In vivo ATR administration led to reduced tumor growth in a SCID/beige human lymphoma treatment model. In summary, ATR represent a novel, nanoparticle based approach for redirecting antigen-specific CTL to kill tumors.
doi:10.18632/oncotarget.11785
PMCID: PMC5356569  PMID: 27602488
cancer; redirection; antigen-specific T cells; nanoparticle; MHC-Ig
5.  Telomere Length as an Indicator of the Robustness of B- and T-Cell Response to Influenza in Older Adults 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2015;212(8):1261-1269.
Background. Telomeres provide a key mechanism for protecting the integrity of chromosomes and their attrition after cell division and during aging are evident in lymphocytes. However, the significance of telomere shortening in age-associated decline of immune function is unknown.
Methods. We selected 22 HLA-A2–positive healthy older adults who have relatively short or long telomere lengths to compare their antibody response against the influenza vaccine, and their CD8+ T-cell response against an influenza antigen.
Results. B cells from individuals with a robust antibody response to the influenza vaccine had significantly longer telomeres than those with a poor antibody response. Monocyte-derived antigen-presenting cells of both short and long telomere groups induced similar expansions of influenza M1–specific CD8+ T cells. Vaccination did not increase M1-specific CD8+ T cells in blood, but M1-specific CD8+ T cells from the long telomere group exhibited significantly greater expansion in vitro than those from the short telomere group. Finally, M1-specific CD8+ T cells that underwent more expansions had significantly longer telomeres than cells with fewer divisions.
Conclusions. Telomere length is positively associated with a robust lymphocyte response, and telomere attrition may contribute to the age-associated decline of adaptive immunity.
doi:10.1093/infdis/jiv202
PMCID: PMC4577042  PMID: 25828247
telomere; influenza vaccine; CD8 T cells; antibody; CMV; CD28− T cells
6.  Generation of Human iNKT Cell Lines 
Bio-protocol  2013;3(6):e418.
Natural killer T (NKT) cells comprise an important immunoregulatory T cell subset and express cell surface proteins characteristic of both natural killer cells and T cells. Invariant NKT (iNKT) cells are activated by lipid antigen presented in the context of CD1d molecules, in contrast to classic T cell subsets, which recognize peptide antigens presented by MHC molecules. Following activation, iNKT cells rapidly secrete large amounts of cytokines and can lyse tumor cells and virally infected cells; however, iNKT cells are reduced in patients with autoimmune disease and cancer. The potential to characterize and investigate the prospective use of iNKT cells for therapeutic purposes has significantly increased with the ability to stimulate and expand human iNKT cells. In this protocol, we describe a method to generate and propagate primary human iNKT cells. Specifically, primary iNKT cells were isolated from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), and then expanded periodically with irradiated α-GalCer loaded autologous immature dendritic cells (DC) in the presence of human IL-2.
PMCID: PMC4998839  PMID: 27570795
7.  Generation of Mouse iNKT Cell Lines 
Bio-protocol  2013;3(6):e419.
Natural killer T (NKT) cells bridge the innate and adaptive arms of the immune system, and manipulating their effector functions can have therapeutic significances in the treatment of autoimmunity, transplant biology, infectious disease and cancer. This important lymphocyte subset regulates the immune system through their potent cytokine production following the recognition of lipid antigen present in the context of the MHC class I-like CD1d molecule, in addition their ability to directly mediate cytotoxicity. Here, we describe a method of expanding mouse invariant NKT (iNKT) cell lines from mononuclear cells isolated from the thymus, spleen, or liver using bone marrow derived dendritic cells. These iNKT cell lines can be used study their co-signaling requirements, cytokine profiles and cytotoxic functions which will greatly enhance our knowledge of iNKT cell biology.
PMCID: PMC4894331  PMID: 27280122
8.  CD47 enhances in vivo functionality of artificial antigen-presenting cells 
Purpose
Artificial Antigen-Presenting Cells, aAPC, have successfully been used to stimulate antigen-specific T cell responses in vitro as well as in vivo. While aAPC compare favorable to autologous dendritic cells in vitro, their effect in vivo might be diminished through rapid clearance by macrophages. Therefore, to prevent uptake and minimize clearance of aAPC by macrophages, and thereby increasing in vivo functionality, we investigated the efficiency of “don’t eat me” three-signal aAPC compared to classical two-signal aAPC.
Experimental Design
To generate “don’t eat me” aAPC, CD47 was additionally immobilized onto classical aAPC (aAPCCD47+). aAPC and aAPCCD47+ were analyzed in in vitro human primary T cell and macrophage co-cultures. In vivo efficiency was compared in a NOD/SCID T cell proliferation and a B16-SIY melanoma model.
Results
This study demonstrates that aAPCCD47+ in co-culture with human macrophages show a CD47 concentration dependent inhibition of phagocytosis, while their ability to generate and expand antigen-specific T cells was not affected. Furthermore, aAPCCD47+ generated T cells displayed equivalent killing abilities and polyfunctionality when compared to aAPC generated T cells. In addition, in vivo studies demonstrated an enhanced stimulatory capacity and tumor inhibition of aAPCCD47+ over normal aAPC in conjunction with diverging bio-distribution in different organs.
Conclusion
Our data for the first time show that aAPC functionalized with CD47 maintain their stimulatory capacity in vitro and demonstrate enhanced in vivo efficiency. Thus this next generation aAPCCD47+ have a unique potential to enhance the application of the aAPC technology for future immunotherapy approaches.
doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-14-2696
PMCID: PMC4417460  PMID: 25593301
aAPC; CD47; phagocytosis; antigen-specific T cells; in vivo
9.  Biodegradable Nanoellipsoidal Artificial Antigen Presenting Cells for Antigen Specific T-Cell Activation 
doi:10.1002/smll.201402369
PMCID: PMC4529071  PMID: 25641795
Nanoparticles; Immunoengineering; CD8+ T-Cell activation; Particle shape; Biomimetic
11.  Cytotoxic polyfunctionality maturation of cytomegalovirus-pp65-specific CD4 + and CD8 + T-cell responses in older adults positively correlates with response size 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:19227.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is one of the most common persistent viral infections in humans worldwide and is epidemiologically associated with many adverse health consequences during aging. Previous studies yielded conflicting results regarding whether large, CMV-specific T-cell expansions maintain their function during human aging. In the current study, we examined the in vitro CMV-pp65-reactive T-cell response by comprehensively studying five effector functions (i.e., interleukin-2, tumor necrosis factor-α, interferon-γ, perforin, and CD107a expression) in 76 seropositive individuals aged 70 years or older. Two data-driven, polyfunctionality panels (IL-2-associated and cytotoxicity-associated) derived from effector function co-expression patterns were used to analyze the results. We found that, CMV-pp65-reactive CD8 + and CD4 + T cells contained similar polyfunctional subsets, and the level of polyfunctionality was related to the size of antigen-specific response. In both CD8 + and CD4 + cells, polyfunctional cells with high cytotoxic potential accounted for a larger proportion of the total response as the total response size increased. Notably, a higher serum CMV-IgG level was positively associated with a larger T-cell response size and a higher level of cytotoxic polyfunctionality. These findings indicate that CMV-pp65-specific CD4 + and CD8 + T cell undergo simultaneous cytotoxic polyfunctionality maturation during aging.
doi:10.1038/srep19227
PMCID: PMC4726016  PMID: 26778409
12.  Killer Artificial Antigen Presenting Cells (KaAPC) for Efficient In Vitro Depletion of Human Antigen-specific T Cells 
Current treatment of T cell mediated autoimmune diseases relies mostly on strategies of global immunosuppression, which, in the long term, is accompanied by adverse side effects such as a reduced ability to control infections or malignancies. Therefore, new approaches need to be developed that target only the disease mediating cells and leave the remaining immune system intact. Over the past decade a variety of cell based immunotherapy strategies to modulate T cell mediated immune responses have been developed. Most of these approaches rely on tolerance-inducing antigen presenting cells (APC). However, in addition to being technically difficult and cumbersome, such cell-based approaches are highly sensitive to cytotoxic T cell responses, which limits their therapeutic capacity. Here we present a protocol for the generation of non-cellular killer artificial antigen presenting cells (KaAPC), which allows for the depletion of pathologic T cells while leaving the remaining immune system untouched and functional. KaAPC is an alternative solution to cellular immunotherapy which has potential for treating autoimmune diseases and allograft rejections by regulating undesirable T cell responses in an antigen specific fashion.
doi:10.3791/51859
PMCID: PMC4710085  PMID: 25145915
Immunology; Issue 90; Autoimmunity; Apoptosis; antigen-specific CD8+ T cells; HLA-A2-Ig; Fas/FasL; KaAPC
13.  Magnetic Field-Induced T Cell Receptor Clustering by Nanoparticles Enhances T Cell Activation and Stimulates Antitumor Activity 
ACS Nano  2014;8(3):2252-2260.
Iron–dextran nanoparticles functionalized with T cell activating proteins have been used to study T cell receptor (TCR) signaling. However, nanoparticle triggering of membrane receptors is poorly understood and may be sensitive to physiologically regulated changes in TCR clustering that occur after T cell activation. Nano-aAPC bound 2-fold more TCR on activated T cells, which have clustered TCR, than on naive T cells, resulting in a lower threshold for activation. To enhance T cell activation, a magnetic field was used to drive aggregation of paramagnetic nano-aAPC, resulting in a doubling of TCR cluster size and increased T cell expansion in vitro and after adoptive transfer in vivo. T cells activated by nano-aAPC in a magnetic field inhibited growth of B16 melanoma, showing that this novel approach, using magnetic field-enhanced nano-aAPC stimulation, can generate large numbers of activated antigen-specific T cells and has clinically relevant applications for adoptive immunotherapy.
doi:10.1021/nn405520d
PMCID: PMC4004316  PMID: 24564881
magnetic nanoparticles; cancer immunotherapy; T cell; adoptive immunotherapy; receptor clustering; membrane organization
14.  Adoptive T Cell Immunotherapy for Cancer 
Harnessing the immune system to recognize and destroy tumor cells has been the central goal of anti-cancer immunotherapy. In recent years, there has been an increased interest in optimizing this technology in order to make it a clinically feasible treatment. One of the main treatment modalities within cancer immunotherapy has been adoptive T cell therapy (ACT). Using this approach, tumor-specific cytotoxic T cells are infused into cancer patients with the goal of recognizing, targeting, and destroying tumor cells. In the current review, we revisit some of the major successes of ACT, the major hurdles that have been overcome to optimize ACT, the remaining challenges, and future approaches to make ACT widely available.
doi:10.5041/RMMJ.10179
PMCID: PMC4327320  PMID: 25717386
Adoptive T cell transfer; cancer immunotherapy; T cell engineering
15.  Particle shape dependence of CD8+ T cell activation by artificial Antigen Presenting Cells 
Biomaterials  2013;35(1):269-277.
doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2013.09.050
PMCID: PMC3902087  PMID: 24099710
16.  Nanoscale Artificial Antigen Presenting Cells for T Cell Immunotherapy 
Artificial antigen presenting cells (aAPC), which deliver stimulatory signals to cytotoxic lymphocytes, are a powerful tool for both adoptive and active immunotherapy. Thus far, aAPC have been synthesized by coupling T cell activating proteins such as CD3 or MHC-peptide to micron-sized beads. Nanoscale platforms have different trafficking and biophysical interaction properties and may allow development of new immunotherapeutic strategies. We therefore manufactured aAPC based on two types of nanoscale particle platforms: biocompatible iron-dextran paramagnetic particles (50–100 nm in diameter) and avidin-coated quantum dot nanocrystals, (~30 nm). Nanoscale aAPC induced antigen-specific T cell proliferation from mouse splenocytes and human peripheral blood T cells. When injected in vivo, both iron-dextran particles and quantum dot nanocrystals enhanced tumor rejection in a subcutaneous mouse melanoma model. This is the first description of nanoscale aAPC that induce antigen-specific T cell proliferation in vitro and lead to effective T cell stimulation and inhibition of tumor growth in vivo.
doi:10.1016/j.nano.2013.06.015
PMCID: PMC4114774  PMID: 23891987
Nanoparticle; Artificial Antigen Presenting Cell; Immunotherapy; T cell
17.  MHC-Ig induces memory T cell formation in vivo and inhibits tumour growth 
Induction of a T cell mediated immune response is critical for the eradication of viral infections and tumours. Soluble peptide-loaded major histocompatibility complex-Ig (pep−MHC-Ig) have been shown to bind their cognate ligands, T cell receptor, with high affinity, and are successfully used to visualize antigen-specific T cells. Furthermore, immobilized pep−MHC-Ig can activate and expand antigen-specific T cells in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we investigate the use of pep−MHC-Ig as a potential strategy to modulate antigen specific T cell immune responses in vivo. SIY−Kb-Ig immunization, together with the pre-activation by an anti-CD40 monoclonal antibody, is able to stimulate a strong expansion of adoptively transferred 2C transgenic T cells and the formation of long term antigen-specific memory T cells. In addition, mechanistic studies show that the pep−MHC-Ig molecules directly activate T cells in vivo without requiring uptake and reprocessing by antigen-presenting cells. Furthermore, B6 mice immunized with pep−MHC-Ig molecules inhibit tumour growth in a B16-SIY melanoma prevention model. Thus, soluble pep−MHC-Ig molecules represent a powerful tool for active immunotherapy.
doi:10.1002/iid3.35
PMCID: PMC4257763  PMID: 25505552
Adoptive T cell transfer; cancer; in vivo vaccination; memory T cells; MHC-Ig
22.  Sprouty-2 regulates HIV-specific T cell polyfunctionality 
The ability of individual T cells to perform multiple effector functions is crucial for protective immunity against viruses and cancer. This polyfunctionality is frequently lost during chronic infections; however, the molecular mechanisms driving T cell polyfunctionality are poorly understood. We found that human T cells stimulated by a high concentration of antigen lacked polyfunctionality and expressed a transcription profile similar to that of exhausted T cells. One specific pathway implicated by the transcription profile in control of T cell polyfunctionality was the MAPK/ERK pathway. This pathway was altered in response to different antigen concentrations, and polyfunctionality correlated with upregulation of phosphorylated ERK. T cells that were stimulated with a high concentration of antigen upregulated sprouty-2 (SPRY2), a negative regulator of the MAPK/ERK pathway. The clinical relevance of SPRY2 was confirmed by examining SPRY2 expression in HIV-specific T cells, where high levels of SPRY2 were seen in HIV-specific T cells and inhibition of SPRY2 expression enhanced the HIV-specific polyfunctional response independently of the PD-1 pathway. Our findings indicate that increased SPRY2 expression during chronic viral infection reduces T cell polyfunctionality and identify SPRY2 as a potential target for immunotherapy.
doi:10.1172/JCI70510
PMCID: PMC3871241  PMID: 24292711
23.  Molecular identification of GD3 as a suppressor of the innate immune response in ovarian cancer 
Cancer research  2012;72(15):3744-3752.
Tumors often display mechanisms to avoid or suppress immune recognition. One such mechanism is the shedding of gangliosides into the local tumor microenvironment, and a high concentration of circulating gangliosides is associated with poor prognosis. In this study, we identify ganglioside GD3, which was isolated from the polar lipid fraction of ovarian cancer-associated ascites, as an inhibitory factor that prevents innate immune activation of natural killer T (NKT) cells. Purified GD3 displayed a high affinity for both human and mouse CD1d, a molecule involved in the presentation of lipid antigens to T cells. Purified GD3, as well as substances within the ascites, bound to the CD1d antigenic binding site and did not require additional processing for its inhibitory effect on NKT cells. Importantly, in vivo administration of GD3 inhibited α-GalCer- induced NKT cell activation in a dose dependent manner. These data therefore indicate that ovarian cancer tumors may use GD3 to inhibit the anti-tumor NKT cell response as an early mechanism of tumor immune evasion.
doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-11-2695
PMCID: PMC3438513  PMID: 22649190
24.  T-Cell Memory Responses Elicited by Yellow Fever Vaccine are Targeted to Overlapping Epitopes Containing Multiple HLA-I and -II Binding Motifs 
The yellow fever vaccines (YF-17D-204 and 17DD) are considered to be among the safest vaccines and the presence of neutralizing antibodies is correlated with protection, although other immune effector mechanisms are known to be involved. T-cell responses are known to play an important role modulating antibody production and the killing of infected cells. However, little is known about the repertoire of T-cell responses elicited by the YF-17DD vaccine in humans. In this report, a library of 653 partially overlapping 15-mer peptides covering the envelope (Env) and nonstructural (NS) proteins 1 to 5 of the vaccine was utilized to perform a comprehensive analysis of the virus-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses. The T-cell responses were screened ex-vivo by IFN-γ ELISPOT assays using blood samples from 220 YF-17DD vaccinees collected two months to four years after immunization. Each peptide was tested in 75 to 208 separate individuals of the cohort. The screening identified sixteen immunodominant antigens that elicited activation of circulating memory T-cells in 10% to 33% of the individuals. Biochemical in-vitro binding assays and immunogenetic and immunogenicity studies indicated that each of the sixteen immunogenic 15-mer peptides contained two or more partially overlapping epitopes that could bind with high affinity to molecules of different HLAs. The prevalence of the immunogenicity of a peptide in the cohort was correlated with the diversity of HLA-II alleles that they could bind. These findings suggest that overlapping of HLA binding motifs within a peptide enhances its T-cell immunogenicity and the prevalence of the response in the population. In summary, the results suggests that in addition to factors of the innate immunity, “promiscuous” T-cell antigens might contribute to the high efficacy of the yellow fever vaccines.
Author Summary
T-cell responses are considered to be very important; however, the role of T-cell responses in vaccine mediated immunity is still controversial. One reason may be that most studies of human T-cell responses are focused on a few epitopes. We still lack a systematic view of the repertoire of peptides presented by the different HLA class I and II molecules and how the peptides presented by the different HLAs interact within the host to develop T-cell responses. Here we present a study of the T-cell responses against the YF-17DD vaccine in the context of a cohort of 220 volunteers and observed that the most prevalent T-cell responses are targeted at peptides that bind to multiple types of HLA molecules. Based on these results we postulate that promiscuous T-cell epitopes might have a critical role in the development of adaptive immunity. These results may have broader implications for other pathogens, since the yellow fever vaccine is currently being developed as a vaccine vector for other diseases. Therefore, these epitopes might have a functionally cooperative role in boosting specific neutralizing antibody responses. In addition, we propose that promiscuous T-cell antigens may be better immunogens for vaccine development; however more studies are necessary.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001938
PMCID: PMC3561163  PMID: 23383350
25.  Decline of influenza-specific CD8+ T cell repertoire in healthy geriatric donors 
Background
While influenza vaccination results in protective antibodies against primary infections, clearance of infection is primarily mediated through CD8+ T cells. Studying the CD8+ T cell response to influenza epitopes is crucial in understanding the disease associated morbidity and mortality especially in at risk populations such as the elderly. We compared the CD8+ T cell response to immunodominant and subdominant influenza epitopes in HLA-A2+ control, adult donors, aged 21-42, and in geriatric donors, aged 65 and older.
Results
We used a novel artificial Antigen Presenting Cell (aAPC) based stimulation assay to reveal responses that could not be detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot (ELISpot). 14 younger control donors and 12 geriatric donors were enrolled in this study. The mean number of influenza-specific subdominant epitopes per control donor detected by ELISpot was only 1.4 while the mean detected by aAPC assay was 3.3 (p = 0.0096). Using the aAPC assay, 92% of the control donors responded to at least one subdominant epitopes, while 71% of control donors responded to more than one subdominant influenza-specific response. 66% of geriatric donors lacked a subdominant influenza-specific response and 33% of geriatric donors responded to only 1 subdominant epitope. The difference in subdominant response between age groups is statistically significant (p = 0.0003).
Conclusion
Geriatric donors lacked the broad, multi-specific response to subdominant epitopes seen in the control donors. Thus, we conclude that aging leads to a decrease in the subdominant influenza-specific CTL responses which may contribute to the increased morbidity and mortality in older individuals.
doi:10.1186/1742-4933-8-6
PMCID: PMC3179433  PMID: 21846352

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