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1.  Possible Role of Arginase-1 in Concomitant Tumor Immunity 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91370.
The expression of Adenovirus serotype 2 or serotype 5 (Ad2/5) E1A in tumor cells reduces their tumorigenicity in vivo by enhancing the NK cell mediated and T cell mediated anti-tumor immune response, an activity that correlates with the ability of E1A to bind p300. We determined if E1A could be used as a molecular adjuvant to enhance antigen-specific T cell responses to a model tumor antigen, ovalbumin (OVA). To achieve this goal, we stably expressed a fusion protein of E1A and OVA (MCA-205-E1A-OVA), OVA (MCA-205-OVA) or a mutant version of E1A unable to bind p300 and OVA (E1A-Δp300-OVA) in the B6-derived, highly tumorigenic MCA-205 tumor cell line. MCA-205-E1A-OVA tumor cells were over 10,000 fold less tumorigenic than MCA-205-OVA, MCA-205-E1A-Δp300-OVA, or MCA-205 in B6 mice. However, immunization of B6 mice with live MCA-205-OVA, MCA-205-E1A-Δp300-OVA and MCA-E1A-OVA tumor cells induced nearly equivalent OVA-specific CD4 T cells and CD8 CTL responses. Further studies revealed that mice with primary, enlarging MCA-205-OVA or MCA-205-E1A-Δp300-OVA tumors on one flank exhibited OVA-specific anti-tumor T cell responses that rejected a tumorigenic dose of MCA-205-OVA cells on the contralateral flank (concomitant tumor immunity). Next we found that tumor associated macrophages (TAMs) in progressive MCA-205-OVA tumors, but not MCA-205-E1A-OVA tumors that expressed high levels of arginase-1, which is known to have local immunosuppressive activities. In summary, immunization of mice with MCA-205 cells expressing OVA, E1A-Δp300-OVA or E1A-OVA induced equivalent OVA-specific CD4 and CD8 anti-tumor responses. TAMs found in MCA-205-OVA, but not MCA-205-E1A-OVA, tumors expressed high levels of arginase-1. We hypothesize that the production of arginase-1 by TAMs in MCA-205-OVA or MCA-205-E1A-Δp300-OVA tumor cells leads to an ineffective anti-tumor immune response in the tumor microenvironment, but does not result in inhibition of a systemic anti-tumor immunity.
PMCID: PMC3948845  PMID: 24614600
2.  Impaired Dendritic Cell Function in Aging Leads to Defective Antitumor Immunity 
Cancer research  2008;68(15):6341-6349.
We recently reported that bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (DCs) are less effective than their young counterparts in inducing the regression of B16-ovalbumin (OVA) melanomas. To examine the underlying mechanisms, we investigated the effect of aging on DC tumor antigen presentation and migration. Although aging does not affect the ability of DCs to present OVA peptide (257−264), DCs from aged mice are less efficient than those from young mice in stimulating OVA-specific T cells in vitro. Phenotypic analysis revealed a selective decrease in DC-specific/intracellular adhesion molecule type 3-grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN) level in aged DCs. Adoptive transfer experiments showed defective in vivo DC trafficking in aging. This correlates with impaired in vitro migration and defective CCR7 signaling in response to CCL21 in aged DCs. Interestingly, vaccination of young mice using old OVA-peptide(257−264) pulsed DCs (OVA PP-DCs) resulted in impaired activation of OVA-specific CD8+ T cells in vivo. Effector functions of these T cells, as determined by IFN-γ production and cytotoxic activity, were similar to those obtained from mice vaccinated with young OVA PP-DCs. A decreased influx of intra-tumor CD8+ T cells was also observed. Importantly, although defective in vivo migration could be restored by increasing the number of old DCs injected, the aging defect in DC tumor surveillance and OVA-specific CD8+ T cell induction remained. Taken together, our findings suggest that defective T cell stimulation contributes to the observed impaired DC tumor immunotherapeutic response in aging.
PMCID: PMC2575813  PMID: 18676859
Aging; Dendritic Cells; Migration; Antigen Presentation; Cancer
3.  Antigen Is Required for the Activation of Effector Activities, whereas Interleukin 2 Is Required for the Maintenance of Memory in Ovalbumin-specific, CD8+ Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes  
The mechanisms that maintain memory in T cells are not completely understood. We have investigated the role of antigen and interleukin (IL)-2 in the growth and maintenance of CD8+ T cells using a cytolytic T cell line specific for ovalbumin (OVA)257-264 presented by H-2Kb. This line does not secrete IL-4 or IL-2; hence, stimulation with the OVA-transfected EL4 line (E.G7-OVA) does not induce proliferation without addition of exogenous growth factors. Furthermore, this line can be maintained continuously by weekly addition of irradiated, splenic filler cells and IL-2, with or without E.G7-OVA. Although IL-2 induced proliferation of these cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), production of interferon γ and tumor necrosis factor α required stimulation of the CTL with E.G7-OVA. The kinetics of lymphokine secretion after stimulation by E.G7-OVA were the same whether the CTL had been maintained with or without antigen (Ag). In addition, both CTL lines killed E.G7-OVA target cells within 4 h. Thus, the effector functions of these CTLs were rapidly induced by T cell receptor (TCR) occupancy. CTLs cultured with or without Ag also served as memory T cells when parked for 100 d in unirradiated, syngeneic recipients without OVA. In the absence of OVA, the precursor frequency was identical in spleens of normal and β2-microglobulin knockout recipients, but significantly less in IL-2 knockout mice. The decline of memory in the absence of IL-2 supports data from other investigators, suggesting that cell cycling is important to the maintenance of CD8+ T cell memory. These data also suggest that stimulation of OVA-specific CTLs by lymphokines seems to be more important to maintaining memory than stimulation of TCRs by cross-reactive peptides complexed to class I molecules.
PMCID: PMC2199192  PMID: 9419210
4.  CD4+ T cell-released exosomes inhibit CD8+ cytotoxic T-lymphocyte responses and antitumor immunity 
T cells secrete bioactive exosomes (EXO), but the potential immunoregulatory effect of T-cell EXO is largely unknown. In this study, we generated activated ovalbumin (OVA)-specific CD4+ T cells in vitro via coculture of OVA-pulsed dendritic cells (DCOVA) with naive CD4+ T cells derived from OVA-specific T-cell receptor (TCR) transgenic OTII mice. CD4+ T-cell EXO were then purified from the CD4+ T-cell culture supernatants by differential ultracentrifugation. CD4+ T-cell EXO exhibited the ‘saucer' shape that is characteristic of EXO with a diameter between 50 and 100 nm, as assessed by electron microscopy, and contained the EXO-associated proteins LAMP-1, TCR and lymphocyte function associated antigen-1 (LFA-1), as determined by western blot. Flow cytometric analysis showed that CD4+ T-cell EXO expressed CD4+ T-cell markers (CD4, TCR, LFA-1, CD25 and Fas ligand), but to a lesser extent than CD4+ T cells. We demonstrated that DCOVA took up CD4+ T-cell EXO via peptide/major histocompatibility complex (pMHC) II/TCR and CD54/LFA-1 interactions. OVA-specific CD4+ T-cell EXO from OTII mice, but not ConA-stimulated polyclonal CD4+ T-cell EXO from wild-type C57BL/6 mice inhibited DCOVA-stimulated in vitro CD4+ T-cell proliferation and in vivo CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses and antitumor immunity against OVA-expressing B16 melanoma BL6-10OVA cells. In addition, EXO derived from a T-cell hybridoma cell line, MF72.2D9, expressing an OVA-specific CD4+ TCR, had a similar inhibitory effect as OTII CD4+ T-cell EXO on CTL-mediated antitumor immunity. Taken together, our data indicate that antigen-specific T-cell EXO may serve as a new type of immunosuppressive reagent for use in transplant rejection and treatment of autoimmune diseases.
PMCID: PMC4002994  PMID: 21200381
antitumor immunity; CTL; T-cell exosome
5.  Dendritic cells pulsed with RNA are potent antigen-presenting cells in vitro and in vivo 
Immunization with defined tumor antigens is currently limited to a small number of cancers where candidates for tumor rejection antigens have been identified. In this study we investigated whether pulsing dendritic cells (DC) with tumor-derived RNA is an effective way to induce CTL and tumor immunity. DC pulsed with in vitro synthesized chicken ovalbumin (OVA) RNA were more effective than OVA peptide-pulsed DC in stimulating primary, OVA-specific CTL responses in vitro. DC pulsed with unfractionated RNA (total or polyA+) from OVA-expressing tumor cells were as effective as DC pulsed with OVA peptide at stimulating CTL responses. Induction of OVA-specific CTL was abrogated when polyA+ RNA from OVA-expressing cells was treated with an OVA- specific antisense oligodeoxynucleotide and RNase H, showing that sensitization of DC was indeed mediated by OVA RNA. Mice vaccinated with DC pulsed with RNA from OVA-expressing tumor cells were protected against a challenge with OVA-expressing tumor cells. In the poorly immunogenic, highly metastatic, B16/F10.9 tumor model a dramatic reduction in lung metastases was observed in mice vaccinated with DC pulsed with tumor-derived RNA (total or polyA+, but not polyA- RNA). The finding that RNA transcribed in vitro from cDNA cloned in a bacterial plasmid was highly effective in sensitizing DC shows that amplification of the antigenic content from a small number of tumor cells is feasible, thus expanding the potential use of RNA-pulsed DC- based vaccines for patients bearing very small, possibly microscopic, tumors.
PMCID: PMC2192710  PMID: 8760800
6.  Efficient Targeting of Protein Antigen to the Dendritic Cell Receptor DEC-205 in the Steady State Leads to Antigen Presentation on Major Histocompatibility Complex Class I Products and Peripheral CD8+ T Cell Tolerance 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2002;196(12):1627-1638.
To identify endocytic receptors that allow dendritic cells (DCs) to capture and present antigens on major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I products in vivo, we evaluated DEC-205, which is abundant on DCs in lymphoid tissues. Ovalbumin (OVA) protein, when chemically coupled to monoclonal αDEC-205 antibody, was presented by CD11c+ lymph node DCs, but not by CD11c− cells, to OVA-specific, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Receptor-mediated presentation was at least 400 times more efficient than unconjugated OVA and, for MHC class I, the DCs had to express transporter of antigenic peptides (TAP) transporters. When αDEC-205:OVA was injected subcutaneously, OVA protein was identified over a 4–48 h period in DCs, primarily in the lymph nodes draining the injection site. In vivo, the OVA protein was selectively presented by DCs to TCR transgenic CD8+ cells, again at least 400 times more effectively than soluble OVA and in a TAP-dependent fashion. Targeting of αDEC-205:OVA to DCs in the steady state initially induced 4–7 cycles of T cell division, but the T cells were then deleted and the mice became specifically unresponsive to rechallenge with OVA in complete Freund's adjuvant. In contrast, simultaneous delivery of a DC maturation stimulus via CD40, together with αDEC-205:OVA, induced strong immunity. The CD8+ T cells responding in the presence of agonistic αCD40 antibody produced large amounts of interleukin 2 and interferon γ, acquired cytolytic function in vivo, emigrated in large numbers to the lung, and responded vigorously to OVA rechallenge. Therefore, DEC-205 provides an efficient receptor-based mechanism for DCs to process proteins for MHC class I presentation in vivo, leading to tolerance in the steady state and immunity after DC maturation.
PMCID: PMC2196060  PMID: 12486105
dendritic cells; DEC-205 receptor; tolerance; CD8 T cell; MHC class I
7.  Novel Model of Antigen-Specific Induction of Bile Duct Injury 
Gastroenterology  2006;131(6):1899-1906.
Background & Aims
Biliary-directed inflammation is an important cause of acute and chronic liver disease. We developed and characterized a transgenic mouse model of immunemediated hepatobiliary injury.
Ovalbumin (OVA)-BIL mice were developed using 3.0 kilobase of the rat apical sodium-dependent bile acid transporter promoter to drive aberrant expression of a membrane form of ovalbumin (OVA) on biliary epithelium. Liver inflammation resulted from adoptive transfer of OVA-specific T cells. Liver immune cells were characterized to determine the mechanism of the response by assessing activation, proliferation, and intracellular cytokine expression.
OVA-BIL transgenic mice were tolerant to OVA, without evidence of liver disease. Adoptive transfer of OVA-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells into naïve OVA-BIL mice led to biliary-centered necroinflammatory damage in a dose-dependent manner. This inflammation absolutely required CD8+ T cells and was augmented by CD4+ T cells. Adoptively transferred OVA CD8+ cells homed to and proliferated in the liver but not the spleen. These activated, adoptively transferred cytotoxic T lymphocytes produced elevated levels of tumor necrosis factor α and interferon γ.
T-cell recognition of antigen aberrantly expressed on bile duct epithelium induced an acute necroinflammatory response specific to the liver, with activation, proliferation, and cytokine production predominantly by the OVA-specific cytotoxic T cells. Thus, OVA BIL represents an antigen-specific animal model of inflammatory bile duct injury.
PMCID: PMC4113411  PMID: 17087941
8.  Interleukin-8 receptor modulates IgE production and B-cell expansion and trafficking in allergen-induced pulmonary inflammation 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1999;103(4):507-515.
We examined the role of the interleukin-8 (IL-8) receptor in a murine model of allergen-induced pulmonary inflammation using mice with a targeted deletion of the murine IL-8 receptor homologue (IL-8r–/–). Wild-type (Wt) and IL-8r–/– mice were systemically immunized to ovalbumin (OVA) and were exposed with either single or multiple challenge of aerosolized phosphate-buffered saline (OVA/PBS) or OVA (OVA/OVA). Analysis of cells recovered from bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) revealed a diminished recruitment of neutrophils to the airway lumen after single challenge in IL-8r–/– mice compared with Wt mice, whereas multiply challenged IL-8r–/– mice had increased B cells and fewer neutrophils compared with Wt mice. Both Wt and IL-8r–/– OVA/OVA mice recruited similar numbers of eosinophils to the BAL fluid and exhibited comparable degrees of pulmonary inflammation histologically. Both total and OVA-specific IgE levels were greater in multiply challenged IL-8r–/– OVA/OVA mice than in Wt mice. Both the IL-8r–/– OVA/OVA and OVA/PBS mice were significantly less responsive to methacholine than their respective Wt groups, but both Wt and IL-8r mice showed similar degrees of enhancement after multiple allergen challenge. The data demonstrate that the IL-8r modulates IgE production, airway responsiveness, and the composition of the cells (B cells and neutrophils) recruited to the airway lumen in response to antigen.
PMCID: PMC408095  PMID: 10021459
9.  Acquired pMHC I Complexes Greatly Enhance CD4+ Th Cell's Stimulatory Effect on CD8+ T Cell-Mediated Diabetes in Transgenic RIP-mOVA Mice 
CD4+ helper T (Th) cells play pivotal roles in induction of CD8+ CTL immunity. However, the mechanism of CD4+ T cell help delivery to CD8+ T cells in vivo is still elusive. In this study, we used ovalbumin (OVA)-pulsed dendritic cells (DCOVA) to activate OT-II mouse CD4+ T cells, and then studied the help effect of these CD4+ T cells on CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses. We also examined CTL mediated islet β cell destruction which led to diabetes in wild-type C57BL/6 mice and transgenic rat insulin promoter (RIP)-mOVA mice expressing β cell antigen OVA with self OVA-specific tolerance, respectively. In adoptive transfer experiments, we demonstrated that help, in the form of peptide/major histocompatibility complex (pMHC) I acquired from DCOVA by DCOVA activation, was required for induction of OVA-specific CTL responses in C57BL/6 mice. However, in combination with TCR transgenic OT-I mouse CD8+ T cells, the tolerogenic dosage of CD4+ Th cells with acquired pMHC I, but not CD4+ (Kb−/−) Th cells without acquired pMHC I were able to cause diabetes in 8/10 (80%) RIP-mOVA mice. This study thus expands the current knowledge in T cell-mediated autoimmunity and provides insight into the nature of CD4+ T cell-mediated help in CD8+ CTL induction.
PMCID: PMC4072405  PMID: 19118506
CD4+ Th; pMHC I; dendritic cell; membrane acquisition; diabetes
10.  Induction of cytotoxic T lymphocytes by primary in vitro stimulation with peptides 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  1988;167(6):1767-1779.
Antigen-specific cytotoxic T cells can be generated by primary in vitro stimulation of spleen cells from C57BL/6 mice with appropriate peptide fragments. This response can be elicited without prior in vivo immunization. Chicken OVA fragmented with either cyanogen bromide (CN OVA) or trypsin (T OVA) was used as a source of mixed peptides. A synthetic peptide, NP365-380, representing the sequence 365-380 from influenza virus A/PR/8 nucleoprotein, was also used, since this contains the main determinants recognized by CTL generated from H-2b mice infected with A/PR/8 virus. The primary in vitro cytotoxic T cell response was peptide specific, since targets were lysed only in the presence of appropriate peptide antigens. Native OVA could not elicit primary effectors in vitro nor could it sensitize targets for lysis by OVA digest-specific CTL. A synthetic peptide corresponding to residues 111-122 within the OVA sequence could sensitize targets for lysis by effectors induced against T OVA. Effectors generated by in vitro stimulation were CD8+, CD4-, and H-2Db-restricted for NP365-380 and T OVA recognition. CN OVA-specific effectors were also CD8+, CD4-, but surprisingly, were able to lyse a range of H-2-different targets in an antigen-specific manner. These effectors failed to lyse a tumor line that does not express class I MHC molecules. This broad MHC restriction pattern was also apparent at the clonal level. In all cases, the antipeptide CTL generated by primary in vitro stimulation were inefficient in lysing target cells expressing endogenous forms of antigens, such as influenza virus-infected cells or cells transfected with the OVA cDNA. However, cytotoxic T cell lines generated in vitro against the NP365-380 peptide did contain a minor population of virus- reactive cells that could be selectively expanded by stimulation with A/PR/8-infected spleen cells. These results are discussed in terms of class I-restricted T cell stimulation in the absence of antigen processing by high surface densities of peptide/MHC complexes.
PMCID: PMC2189675  PMID: 2455012
11.  Mannosylated Mucin-Type Immunoglobulin Fusion Proteins Enhance Antigen-Specific Antibody and T Lymphocyte Responses 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e46959.
Targeting antigens to antigen-presenting cells (APC) improve their immunogenicity and capacity to induce Th1 responses and cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL). We have generated a mucin-type immunoglobulin fusion protein (PSGL-1/mIgG2b), which upon expression in the yeast Pichia pastoris became multivalently substituted with O-linked oligomannose structures and bound the macrophage mannose receptor (MMR) and dendritic cell-specific intercellular adhesion molecule-3 grabbing non-integrin (DC-SIGN) with high affinity in vitro. Here, its effects on the humoral and cellular anti-ovalbumin (OVA) responses in C57BL/6 mice are presented.
OVA antibody class and subclass responses were determined by ELISA, the generation of anti-OVA CTLs was assessed in 51Cr release assays using in vitro-stimulated immune spleen cells from the different groups of mice as effector cells and OVA peptide-fed RMA-S cells as targets, and evaluation of the type of Th cell response was done by IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-4 and IL-5 ELISpot assays.
Immunizations with the OVA − mannosylated PSGL-1/mIgG2b conjugate, especially when combined with the AbISCO®-100 adjuvant, lead to faster, stronger and broader (with regard to IgG subclass) OVA IgG responses, a stronger OVA-specific CTL response and stronger Th1 and Th2 responses than if OVA was used alone or together with AbISCO®-100. Also non-covalent mixing of mannosylated PSGL-1/mIgG2b, OVA and AbISCO®-100 lead to relatively stronger humoral and cellular responses. The O-glycan oligomannoses were necessary because PSGL-1/mIgG2b with mono- and disialyl core 1 structures did not have this effect.
Mannosylated mucin-type fusion proteins can be used as versatile APC-targeting molecules for vaccines and as such enhance both humoral and cellular immune responses.
PMCID: PMC3470573  PMID: 23071675
12.  Aerosol-induced Immunoglobulin (Ig)-E Unresponsiveness to Ovalbumin Does Not Require CD8+ or T Cell Receptor (TCR)-γ/δ+ T Cells or Interferon (IFN)-γ in a Murine Model of Allergen Sensitization  
Mice exposed for 20 min daily to aerosolized ovalbumin (OVA) for 10 d at concentrations from 1 to 0.01% OVA made greatly reduced immunoglobulin (Ig)-E responses to subsequent immunogenic OVA challenges, given either intraperitoneally or by aerosol. This IgE-specific unresponsiveness lasted for at least four months. However, these aerosol-treated mice were primed for larger OVA-specific IgG1 and IgG2a responses. The specific reduction in IgE responses was not due to preferential induction of a T helper (Th)-1 response as aerosol OVA– primed mice made greatly reduced Th2 and no detectable Th1 response after rechallenge in vitro. Consistent with this, the increase in circulating eosinophils observed in control Th2-primed mice was absent in aerosol OVA–treated animals. Interferon (IFN)-γ was not required for this unresponsiveness, as IFN-γ knockout mice and anti–IFN-γ antibody-treated wild-type mice had greatly reduced levels of IgE similar to wild-type controls. CD8+ T cells played a relatively small role as IgE responses were reduced to about the same extent in β2 microglobulin-deficient, or in anti-CD8–treated wild-type mice as in normal mice after aerosol OVA treatment. Similarly, T cell receptor (TCR)-γ/δ T cells were not required for maximal inhibition of the IgE response. These results demonstrate that exposure to inhaled protein antigens can induce a state of unresponsiveness of CD4+ T cells that results in a prolonged loss of IgE and eosinophil responses to subsequent challenges. This T cell unresponsiveness was shown not to require CD8+ or TCR-γ/δ+ T cells or IFN-γ.
PMCID: PMC2212168  PMID: 9480982
13.  Robust Stimulation of Humoral and Cellular Immune Responses following Vaccination with Antigen-Loaded β-Glucan Particles 
mBio  2010;1(3):e00164-10.
β-Glucan particles (GPs) are purified Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell walls treated so that they are primarily β1,3-d-glucans and free of mannans and proteins. GPs are phagocytosed by dendritic cells (DCs) via the Dectin-1 receptor, and this interaction stimulates proinflammatory cytokine secretion by DCs. As the hollow, porous GP structure allows for high antigen loading, we hypothesized that antigen-loaded GPs could be exploited as a receptor-targeted vaccine delivery system. Ovalbumin (OVA) was electrostatically complexed inside the hollow GP shells (GP-OVA). Incubation of C57BL/6J mouse bone marrow-derived DCs with GP-OVA resulted in phagocytosis, upregulation of maturation markers, and rapid proteolysis of OVA. Compared with free OVA, GP-OVA was >100-fold more potent at stimulating the proliferation of OVA-reactive transgenic CD8+ OT-I and CD4+ OT-II T cells, as measured by in vitro [3H]thymidine incorporation using DCs as antigen-presenting cells. Next, immune responses in C57BL/6J mice following subcutaneous immunizations with GP-OVA were compared with those in C57BL/6J mice following subcutaneous immunizations with OVA absorbed onto the adjuvant alum (Alum/OVA). Vaccination with GP-OVA stimulated substantially higher antigen-specific CD4+ T-cell lymphoproliferative and enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) responses than that with Alum/OVA. Moreover, the T-cell responses induced by GP-OVA were Th1 biased (determined by gamma interferon [IFN-γ] ELISPOT assay) and Th17 biased (determined by interleukin-17a [IL-17a] ELISPOT assay). Finally, both the GP-OVA and Alum/OVA formulations induced strong secretions of IgG1 subclass anti-OVA antibodies, although only GP-OVA induced secretion of Th1-associated IgG2c antibodies. Thus, the GP-based vaccine platform combines adjuvanticity and antigen delivery to induce strong humoral and Th1- and Th17-biased CD4+ T-cell responses.
Most licensed vaccines work by promoting protective antibody responses. However, for many infectious diseases, antibody-mediated protection appears to play a relatively minor role, and vaccination has met with limited success. While live-attenuated organisms generally elicit T-cell responses, their use in vaccines is limited by the potential for causing disease. Thus, there is an urgent need for new vaccine platforms that deliver antigens in such a manner as to promote strong T-cell-mediated responses. Here we designed a novel vaccine platform consisting of yeast-derived β-glucan particles (GPs) that combines antigen delivery and adjuvant activity. GPs loaded with the model antigen ovalbumin (OVA) stimulated robust humoral and T-cell responses in mice. In addition, the cellular response was Th1 and Th17 biased. This work has implications for the design of vaccines that stimulate biased T-cell responses as well as for understanding how immunity to fungal pathogens develops.
PMCID: PMC2925077  PMID: 20802824
14.  Expression of vFLIP in a Lentiviral Vaccine Vector Activates NF-κB, Matures Dendritic Cells, and Increases CD8+ T-Cell Responses▿  
Journal of Virology  2008;83(4):1555-1562.
Lentiviral vectors deliver antigens to dendritic cells (DCs) in vivo, but they do not trigger DC maturation. We therefore expressed a viral protein that constitutively activates NF-κB, vFLIP from Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), in a lentivector to mature DCs. vFLIP activated NF-κB in mouse bone marrow-derived DCs in vitro and matured these DCs to a similar extent as lipopolysaccharide; costimulatory markers CD80, CD86, CD40, and ICAM-1 were upregulated and tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin-12 secreted. The vFLIP-expressing lentivector also matured DCs in vivo. When we coexpressed vFLIP in a lentivector with ovalbumin (Ova), we found an increased immune response to Ova; up to 10 times more Ova-specific CD8+ T cells secreting gamma interferon were detected in the spleens of vFLIP_Ova-immunized mice than in the spleens of mice immunized with GFP_Ova. Furthermore, this increased CD8+ T-cell response correlated with improved tumor-free survival in a tumor therapy model. A single immunization with vFLIP_Ova also reduced the parasite load when mice were challenged with OVA-Leishmania donovani. In conclusion, vFLIP from KSHV is a DC activator, maturing DCs in vitro and in vivo. This demonstrates that NF-κB activation is sufficient to induce many aspects of DC maturation and that expression of a constitutive NF-κB activator can improve the efficacy of a vaccine vector.
PMCID: PMC2643792  PMID: 19036811
15.  A novel T cell-based vaccine capable of stimulating long-term functional CTL memory against B16 melanoma via CD40L signaling 
The ultimate goal of antitumor vaccines is to develop memory CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), which are critical mediators of antitumor immunity. We previously demonstrated that the ovalbumin (OVA)-specific CD4+ T cell-based (OVA-TEXO) vaccine generated using OVA-pulsed dendritic cell (DCOVA)-released exosomes (EXOOVA) stimulate CTL responses via IL-2 and costimulatory CD80 signaling. To assess the potential involvement of other costimulatory pathways and to define the key constituent of costimulation for memory CTL development, we first immunized wild-type (WT) C57BL/6 and gene-knockout mice with WT CD4+ OVA-TEXO cells or OVA-TEXO cells with various molecular deficiencies. We then assessed OVA-specific primary and recall CTL responses using PE-H-2Kb/OVA257–264 tetramer and FITC-anti-CD8 antibody staining by flow cytometry. We also examined antitumor immunity against the OVA-expressing B16 melanoma cell line BL6-10OVA. We demonstrated that CD4+ OVA-TEXO cells stimulated more efficient CTL responses compared to DCOVA. By assessing primary and recall CTL responses in mice immunized with OVA-TEXO or with OVA-TEXO lacking the costimulatory molecules CD40L, 4-1BBL or OX40L, we demonstrated that these costimulatory signals are dispensable for CTL priming by OVA-TEXO. Interestingly, CD40L, but not 4-1BBL or OX40L, plays a crucial role in the development of functional memory CTLs against BL6-10OVA tumors. Overall, this work suggests that a novel CD4+ T cell-based vaccine that is capable of stimulating long-term functional CTL memory via CD40L signaling may represent a novel, efficient approach to antitumor vaccination.
PMCID: PMC4003169  PMID: 23042534
antitumor immunity; CD40L; memory CTL; T cell-based vaccine
16.  Adenovirus serotype 5 E1A expressing tumor cells elicit a tumor-specific CD8+ T cell response independent of NKG2D 
Results in Immunology  2015;5:1-5.
The expression of the Adenovirus serotype 2 or serotype 5 (Ad2/5) E1A gene in tumor cells upregulates ligands that are recognized by the NKG2D activating receptor, which is expressed on NK cells and T cells, and reduces their tumorigenicity, a process dependent on NK cells and T cells. In some model systems, the forced overexpression of NKG2D ligands on tumor cells induced antigen-specific CD8+ T cells that mediated anti-tumor immunity. We wanted to determine if the interaction of NKG2D ligands on tumor cells that express E1A with NKG2D on immune cells contributed to the ability of E1A to induce a CD8+ T cell anti-tumor response or reduce tumorigenicity. To address these questions, we used the MCA-205 tumor cell line or MCA-205 cells that expressed Ad5 E1A (MCA-205-E1A cells), a fusion protein of E1A and ovalbumin (MCA-205-E1A-OVA) or OVA (MCA-205-OVA). We found that the expression of E1A or E1A–OVA, but not OVA, upregulated the expression of the NKG2D ligand RAE-1 on the surface of MCA-205 cells. Additionally, MCA-205-E1A cells and MCA-205-E1A-OVA cells were more sensitive to NK cell lysis than MCA-205 or MCA-205-OVA cells in WT B6 mice, but not NKG2D deficient B6 mice. Next, we adoptively transferred WT or NKG2D deficient OT-1 T cells (CD8 T cells that recognize OVA residues 257–264) into WT B6 mice or B6 mice that were deficient in NKG2D respectively and measured the expansion of OT-1 cells following immunization with MCA-205-E1A-OVA or MCA-205-OVA cells. We found that the expansion of OT-1 cells following immunization of either OVA-expressing MCA-205 cell lines was not affected by the presence or absence of NKG2D in B6 mice. Finally, we found that the capacity of E1A to reduce the tumorigenicity of MCA-205 cells was not impaired in B6-NKG2D deficient mice as compared to WT B6 mice. Our results suggest that the ability of E1A to reduce the tumorigenicity of MCA-205 cells, or induce an antigen-specific CD8+ T cell response, is independent of the interaction of NKG2D ligands with the NKG2D receptor.
PMCID: PMC4309920
Adenovirus E1A; NKG2D; NKG2D ligands; NK cells; CD8+ T cells; Tumor immunology; E1A, early region 1 A; Ad, adenovirus; NKG2D, natural killer group 2 D; MCA, methylcholanthrene; OVA, ovalbumin; NK, natural killer; WT, wildtype; RAE-1, retinoic acid early inducible; B6, C57BL/6; TPD50, tumor producing dose 50
17.  Induction of ovalbumin-specific cytotoxic T cells by in vivo peptide immunization 
CTL recognize peptide forms of processed, foreign antigens in association with class I molecules encoded by the MHC and are usually directed against endogenously synthesized "cellular antigens," such as those expressed by virus-infected cells. In vitro studies have shown that small exogenous peptides can directly associate with class I molecules on the cell surface and mimic the target complex derived by intracellular processing and presentation. We have recently generated OVA-specific, H-2Kb-restricted CTL by immunizing C57BL/6 mice with a syngeneic tumor line transfected with the OVA cDNA. The CTL recognize the OVA transfectant E.G7-OVA and the synthetic peptide OVA258-276, but fail to recognize the native protein. We reasoned that given the potential for direct peptide/class I association observed in vitro, OVA258-276 may induce CTL after in vivo priming. However, we found that this is not the case. OVA258-276 and peptides of increasing lengths up to OVA242-276 and OVA242-285, which are all able to form the target complex in vitro, are inefficient at priming E.G7-OVA-specific CTL responses after intravenous injection. This is also true for both native and denatured OVA. In contrast to these results the synthetic peptide OVA229-276 corresponding to a peptide in a partial tryptic digestion of OVA can efficiently prime C57BL/6 mice in vivo after intravenous injection. This peptide elicits CTL that appear identical to those derived from animals immunized with syngeneic cells producing OVA endogenously. These results are discussed in terms of separate class I and class II antigen presentation pathways and the ability of only certain, exogenous antigens to enter the cytoplasmic, class I pathway.
PMCID: PMC2189277  PMID: 2784478
18.  Combination of Viral Oncolysis and Tumor-Specific Immunity to Control Established Tumors 
Advanced-stage cancers are extremely difficult to treat and rarely result in a cure. The application of oncolytic viruses is a potential strategy for controlling advanced-stage cancer because intratumoral (i.t.) injection of an oncolytic virus, such as vaccinia virus, results in tumor cell lysis and subsequent release of tumor antigens into the microenvironment. Furthermore, the viruses can serve as a vehicle for delivering genes of interest to cancer cells.
Experimental Design
In the current study, we hypothesize that in tumor-bearing mice primed with DNA encoding an immunogenic foreign antigen, ovalbumin (OVA) followed by a boost with i.t. administration of vaccinia virus encoding the same foreign antigen, OVA, can generate enhanced antitumor effects through the combination of viral oncolysis and tumor-specific immunity.
We observed that tumor-bearing mice primed with OVA DNA and boosted with vaccinia encoding OVA (Vac-OVA) generated significant therapeutic antitumor effects as well as induced significant levels of OVA-specific CD8+ T cells in two different tumor models. Furthermore, treatment with Vac-OVA not only kills the tumor and stromal cells directly but also renders the tumor cells and surrounding stromal cells susceptible to OVA-specific CD8+ T-cell killing, resulting in enhanced antitumor therapeutic effects.
Thus, the current study may provide a novel therapeutic strategy for the control of advanced-stage cancers.
PMCID: PMC3076709  PMID: 19584165
19.  A Polymeric Protein Induces Specific Cytotoxicity in a TLR4 Dependent Manner in the Absence of Adjuvants 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e45705.
Lumazine synthase from Brucella spp. (BLS) is a highly immunogenic decameric protein. It is possible to insert foreign peptides or proteins at its ten-amino acid termini. These chimeras elicit systemic and oral immunity without adjuvants, which are commonly needed in the formulation of subunit-based vaccines. Here, we show that BLS induces the cross presentation of a covalently attached peptide OVA257–264 and a specific cytotoxic response to this peptide in the absence of adjuvants. Unlike other subunit-based vaccines, this chimera induces rapid activation of CTLs and a specific cytotoxic response, making this polymeric protein an ideal antigen carrier for vaccine development. Adoptive transfer of transgenic OT-I T cells revealed efficient cross presentation of BLS-OVA257–264 in vivo. BLS-OVA257–264 immunization induced the proliferation of OVA257–264-specific CD8+ lymphocytes and also increased the percentage of OVA257–264-specific CD8+ cells expressing the early activation marker CD69; after 5 days, the percentage of OVA257–264-specific CD8+ cells expressing high levels of CD44 increased. This cell subpopulation showed decreased expression of IL-7Rα, indicating that BLS-OVA257–264 induced the generation of CD8+ effector cells. BLS-OVA257–264 was cross presented in vitro independently of the presence of a functional TLR4 in the DCs. Finally, we show that immunization of wild type mice with the chimera BLS-OVA257–264 without adjuvants induced a strong OVA257–264-specific effector cytotoxic response. This cytotoxicity is dependent on TLR4 as is not induced in mice lacking a functional receptor. These data show that TLR4 signaling is necesary for the induction of a cytotoxic response but not for antigen cross presentation.
PMCID: PMC3454435  PMID: 23029192
20.  Coexpression of GM-CSF and antigen in DNA prime-adenoviral vector boost immunization enhances polyfunctional CD8+ T cell responses, whereas expression of GM-CSF antigen fusion protein induces autoimmunity 
BMC Immunology  2008;9:13.
Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) has shown promising results as a cytokine adjuvant for antiviral vaccines and in various models of tumor gene therapy. To explore whether the targeting of antigens to GM-CSF receptors on antigen-presenting cells enhances antigen-specific CD8 T-cell responses, fusion proteins of GM-CSF and ovalbumin (OVA) were expressed by DNA and adenoviral vector vaccines. In addition, bicistronic vectors allowing independent expression of the antigen and the cytokine were tested in parallel.
In vitro, the GM-CSF ovalbumin fusion protein (GM-OVA) led to the better stimulation of OVA-specific CD8+ T cells by antigen-presenting cells than OVA and GM-CSF given as two separate proteins. However, prime-boost immunizations of mice with DNA and adenoviral vector vaccines encoding GM-OVA suppressed CD8+ T-cell responses to OVA. OVA-specific IgG2a antibody levels were also reduced, while the IgG1 antibody response was enhanced. Suppression of CD8+ T cell responses by GM-OVA vaccines was associated with the induction of neutralizing antibodies to GM-CSF. In contrast, the coexpression of GM-CSF and antigens in DNA prime adenoviral boost immunizations led to a striking expansion of polyfunctional OVA-specific CD8+ T cells without the induction of autoantibodies.
The induction of autoantibodies suggests a general note of caution regarding the use of highly immunogenic viral vector vaccines encoding fusion proteins between antigens and host proteins. In contrast, the expansion of polyfunctional OVA-specific CD8+ T cells after immunizations with bicistronic vectors further support a potential application of GM-CSF as an adjuvant for heterologous prime-boost regimens with genetic vaccines. Since DNA prime adenoviral vector boost regimenes are presently considered as one of the most efficient ways to induce CD8+ T cell responses in mice, non-human primates and humans, further enhancement of this response by GM-CSF is a striking observation.
PMCID: PMC2324072  PMID: 18405363
21.  Negatively charged liposomes show potent adjuvant activity when simply admixed with protein antigens 
Molecular pharmaceutics  2011;8(4):1174-1185.
Liposomes have been investigated extensively as a vaccine delivery system. Herein the adjuvant activities of liposomes with different net surface charges (neutral, positive, or negative) were evaluated when admixed with protein antigens, ovalbumin (OVA, pI = 4.7), Bacillus anthracis protective antigen protein (PA, pI = 5.6), or cationized OVA (cOVA). Mice immunized subcutaneously with OVA admixed with different liposomes generated different antibody responses. Interestingly, OVA admixed with net negatively charged liposomes prepared with DOPA was as immunogenic as OVA admixed with positively charged liposomes prepared with DOTAP. Immunization of mice with the anthrax PA protein admixed with the net negatively charged DOPA liposomes also induced a strong and functional anti-PA antibody response. When the cationized OVA was used as a model antigen, liposomes with net neutral, negative, or positive charges showed comparable adjuvant activities. Immunization of mice with the OVA admixed with DOPA liposomes also induced OVA-specific CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses and significantly delayed the growth of OVA-expressing B16-OVA tumors in mice. However, not all net negatively charged liposomes showed a strong adjuvant activity. The adjuvant activity of the negatively charged liposomes may be related to the liposome’s ability (i) to up-regulate the expression of molecules related to the activation and maturation of antigen-presenting cells and (ii) to slightly facilitate the uptake of the antigens by antigen-presenting cells. Simply admixing certain negatively charged liposomes with certain protein antigens of interest may represent a novel platform for vaccine development.
PMCID: PMC3148289  PMID: 21615153
Protein antigen; antibody response; CTL; anti-tumor activity; antigen uptake; APC activation
22.  Primary Activation of Antigen-Specific Naive CD4+ and CD8+ T Cells following Intranasal Vaccination with Recombinant Bacteria▿  
Infection and Immunity  2008;76(12):5817-5825.
The primary activation of T-helper and T-cytotoxic cells following mucosal immunization with recombinant Streptococcus gordonii was studied in vivo by adoptive transfer of ovalbumin (OVA)-specific transgenic CD8+ (OT-I) and CD4+ (OT-II) T cells. A recombinant strain, expressing on the surface the vaccine antigen Ag85B-ESAT-6 from Mycobacterium tuberculosis fused to OVA T-helper and T-cytotoxic epitopes (peptides 323 to 339 and 257 to 264), was constructed and used to immunize C57BL/6 mice by the intranasal route. Recombinant, but not wild-type, bacteria induced OVA-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell clonal expansion in cervical lymph nodes, lung, and spleen. OVA-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell proliferation appeared first in cervical lymph nodes and later in the spleen, suggesting a possible migration of activated cells from the inductive site to the systemic district. A significant correlation between the percentages of CD4+ and CD8+ proliferating T cells was observed for each animal. The expression of CD69, CD44, and CD45RB on proliferating T lymphocytes changed as a function of the cell division number, confirming T-cell activation following the antigen encounter. These data indicate that intranasal immunization with recombinant S. gordonii is capable of inducing primary activation of naive antigen-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, both locally and systemically.
PMCID: PMC2583588  PMID: 18838521
23.  Fucoidan Can Function as an Adjuvant In Vivo to Enhance Dendritic Cell Maturation and Function and Promote Antigen-Specific T Cell Immune Responses 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e99396.
Fucoidan, a sulfated polysaccharide purified from brown algae, has a variety of immune-modulation effects, including promoting antigen uptake and enhancing anti-viral and anti-tumor effects. However, the effect of fucoidan in vivo, especially its adjuvant effect on in vivo anti-tumor immune responses, was not fully investigated. In this study, we investigated the effect of fucoidan on the function of spleen dendritic cells (DCs) and its adjuvant effect in vivo. Systemic administration of fucoidan induced up-regulation of CD40, CD80 and CD86 expression and production of IL-6, IL-12 and TNF-α in spleen cDCs. Fucoidan also promoted the generation of IFN-γ-producing Th1 and Tc1 cells in an IL-12-dependent manner. When used as an adjuvant in vivo with ovalbumin (OVA) antigen, fucoidan promoted OVA-specific antibody production and primed IFN-γ production in OVA-specific T cells. Moreover, fucoidan enhanced OVA-induced up-regulation of MHC class I and II on spleen cDCs and strongly prompted the proliferation of OVA-specific CD4 and CD8 T cells. Finally, OVA immunization with fucoidan as adjuvant protected mice from the challenge with B16-OVA tumor cells. Taken together, these results suggest that fucoidan can function as an adjuvant to induce Th1 immune response and CTL activation, which may be useful in tumor vaccine development.
PMCID: PMC4049775  PMID: 24911024
24.  Cytotoxic-T-Lymphocyte-Mediated Elimination of Target Cells Transduced with Engineered Adeno-Associated Virus Type 2 Vector In Vivo▿  
Journal of Virology  2009;83(13):6817-6824.
A recent clinical trial in patients with hemophilia B has suggested that adeno-associated virus (AAV) capsid-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) eliminated AAV-transduced hepatocytes and resulted in therapeutic failure. AAV capsids elicit a CTL response in animal models; however, these capsid-specific CTLs fail to kill AAV-transduced target cells in mice. To better model the human clinical trial data in mice, we introduced an immunodominant epitope derived from ovalbumin (OVA; SIINFEKL) into the AAV capsid and tested CTL-mediated killing of AAV2-transduced target tissues in vivo. Initially, in vitro experiments demonstrated both classical class I and cross-presentation of the OVA antigen, following endogenous expression or AAV2-OVA vector transduction, respectively. Furthermore, an OVA-specific CTL response was elicited after muscular or systemic injection of the AAV2-OVA vector. Finally, CTL reactivity was enhanced in mice with established SIINFEKL-specific immunity after AAV2-OVA/α1 anti-trypsin (AAT) administration. Most importantly, these OVA-specific CTLs decreased AAT expression in mice treated with AAV2-OVA/AAT vector that followed a time course mimicking uncoating kinetics of AAV2 transduction in OVA-immunized mice. These results demonstrate that AAV capsid-derived antigens elicit CD8+ CTL reactivity, and these CTLs eliminated AAV-transduced target cells in mice. Notably, this model system can be exploited to study the kinetics of capsid presentation from different serotypes of AAV and permit the design of novel strategies to block CTL-mediated killing of AAV-transduced cells.
PMCID: PMC2698563  PMID: 19369348
25.  Lack of Functional Selectin Ligand Interactions Compromises Long Term Tumor Protection by CD8+ T Cells 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e32211.
Central memory CD8+ T cells expressing the adhesion molecule CD62L (L-selectin) are potent mediators of anti-cancer immunity due to their ability to proliferate extensively upon antigen re-stimulation. The interaction of selectin with its ligands mediates leukocyte rolling along high endothelial venules. Mice deficient in α(1,3) Fucosyltransferase IV and VII (FtDKO) lack functional L, P and E selectin ligands. Thus, we addressed whether the lack of selectin ligand interactions alters tumor protection by CD8+ T cells in FtDKO mice. Listeria monocytogenes-OVA (LM-OVA) infection evoked potent OVA-specific CD8+ T cells that proliferated and contracted at similar kinetics and phenotype in FtDKO and wild-type mice. Additionally, OVA-specific CD8+ T cells in both mouse strains exhibited similar phenotypic differentiation, in vivo cytolytic activity and IFN-γ expression. However, FtDKO mice succumbed to B16-OVA tumors significantly earlier than wild-type mice. In contrast, FtDKO mice evoked strong recall memory CD8+ T cell responses and protection to systemic LM-OVA re-challenge. The diminished tumor protection in FtDKO mice was not related to defective antigen presentation by dendritic cells or reduced proliferation of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells. However, WT or FtDKO OVA-specific CD8+ T cells showed significantly reduced ability to traffic to lymph nodes upon adoptive transfer into naïve FtDKO recipients. Furthermore, FtDKO OVA-specific CD8+ T cells displayed poor ability to infiltrate tumors growing in WT mice. These results reveal that selectin ligand expression on host endothelium as well CD8+ T cells may be important for their efficient and continued extravasation into peripheral tumors.
PMCID: PMC3281134  PMID: 22359671

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