Strategies for antigen choice and priming of dendritic cells influence the polarization and efficacy of antitumor T-cell responses in dendritic cell-based cancer vaccination.
Galea-Lauri J., Wells JW., Darling D., Harrison P., Farzaneh F.
Dendritic cells (DCs) primed with tumor antigens (Ags) can stimulate tumor rejection. This study was aimed at evaluating the polarization of T-cell responses using various DC Ag-priming strategies for vaccination purposes. DCs cocultured with irradiated "apoptotic" tumor cells, DC-tumor fusions, and DCs pulsed with freeze-thaw tumor lysate Ags served as Ag-primed DCs, with EG7 tumor cells (class II negative) expressing OVA as the model Ag. DCs loaded with class I- and class II-restricted OVA synthetic peptides served as controls. Primed DCs were assessed by the in vitro activation of B3Z OVA-specific CD8 T cells and the proliferation of OVA-specific CD8 and CD4 T cells from OT-I and OT-II TCR transgenic mice, respectively. In vivo responses were measured by tumor regression following treatment with Ag-primed DCs and by CTL assays. Quantification of IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IFN-gamma, and TNF-alpha by cytometric bead array (CBA) assay determined the polarization of TH1/TH2 responses, whereas H-2 Kb/SIINFEKL tetramers monitored the expansion of OVA-specific T cells. DC-EG7 hybrids stimulated both efficient class I and class II OVA responses, showing that DC-tumor hybrids are also capable of class II cross-presentation. The hybrids also induced the most potent CTLs, offered the highest protection against established EG7 tumors and also induced the highest stimulation of IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha production. DCs cocultured with irradiated EG7 were also effective at inducing OVA-specific responses, however with slightly reduced potency to those evoked by the hybrids. DCs loaded with lysates Ags were much less efficient at stimulating any of the OVA-specific T-cell responses, showed very little antitumor protection, and stimulated a weak TH1 response, overbalanced by an IL-5 TH2 response. The strategy of Ag-loading clearly influences the ability of DCs to polarize T cells for a TH1/TH2 response and thus determines the outcome of the elicited immune response, during various vaccination protocols.