Preliminary results of interferon-alpha therapy on woodchuck hepatitis virus-induced hepatocarcinogenesis: possible benefit in female transgenic mice.
ABSTRACT C-myc activation is a potent oncogenic event in hepatocarcinogenesis. The aim of this study was to test the preventive effect of interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) on the development of dysplasia and subsequent hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in transgenic (Tg) mice overexpressing c-myc in the liver.
The WHV/c-myc Tg mice recapitulating woodchuck hepatitis virus-induced hepatocarcinogenesis were treated with IFN-alpha, starting early in life until sacrifice at pre-neoplastic or neoplastic stages. Transgene expression was assessed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), hepatocyte proliferation was assessed by bromodeoxyuridine incorporation and RT-PCR for proliferating cell nuclear antigen, and apoptosis was assessed by in situ nick-end-labeling of DNA.
C-myc expression and hepatocyte proliferation were significantly reduced in treated female mice, without modification of apoptosis, correlating with a lower severity of dysplasia in 9/12 treated animals at pre-neoplastic stages. At the neoplastic stage, 2/3 treated females neither exhibited carcinoma nor dysplasia, while all 6/6 untreated mice and 3/3 treated males developed carcinomas.
Inhibition of c-myc and hepatocyte proliferation by long-term administration of IFN-alpha was associated with a decrease, or a delay, of oncogenesis in the mouse Tg HCC model. Whether c-myc and hepatocyte proliferation down-regulation could be relevant parameters of IFN-alpha efficiency for hepatocarcinogenesis prevention in cirrhotic patients should be established.
Article: Helper-dependent adenoviral vector-mediated delivery of woodchuck-specific genes for alpha interferon (IFN-alpha) and IFN-gamma: IFN-alpha but not IFN-gamma reduces woodchuck hepatitis virus replication in chronic infection in vivo.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Alpha interferon (IFN-alpha) and IFN-gamma are able to suppress hepadnavirus replication. The intrahepatic expression of high levels of IFN may enhance the antiviral activity. We investigated the effects of woodchuck-specific IFN-alpha (wIFN-alpha) and IFN-gamma(wIFN-gamma) on woodchuck hepatitis virus (WHV) replication in vivo by helper-dependent adenoviral (HD-Ad) vector-mediated gene transfer. The expression of biologically active IFNs was demonstrated in vitro after transduction of woodchuck cells with HD-Ad vectors encoding wIFN-alpha (HD-AdwIFN-alpha) or wIFN-gamma (HD-AdwIFN-gamma). The transduction efficacy of the HD-Ad vector in woodchuck liver in vivo was tested with a vector expressing green fluorescence protein (GFP). Immunohistochemical staining of liver samples on day 5 after injection showed expression of GFP in a high percentage of liver cells surrounding the central vein. The transduction of livers of WHV carriers in vivo with HD-AdwIFN-alpha or HD-AdwIFN-gamma induced levels of biologically active IFN, which could be measured in the sera of these animals. Expression of wIFN-alpha in the liver reduced intrahepatic WHV replication and WHV DNA in sera of about 1 log step in two of two woodchucks. Transduction with HD-AdwIFN-gamma, however, reduced WHV replicative intermediates only slightly in two of three animals, which was not accompanied with significant changes in the WHV DNA in sera. We demonstrated for the first time the successful HD-Ad vector-mediated transfer of genes for IFN-alpha and IFN-gamma in vivo and timely limited reduction of WHV replication by wIFN-alpha, but not by wIFN-gamma.Journal of Virology 10/2004; 78(18):10111-21. · 5.40 Impact Factor
Article: Development of a Wilms' tumor antigen-specific T-cell receptor for clinical trials: engineered patient's T cells can eliminate autologous leukemia blasts in NOD/SCID mice.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The Wilms' tumor antigen (WT1) is an attractive target for immunotherapy of leukemia. In the past, we isolated and characterized the specificity and function of a WT1-specific T-cell receptor. The goal of this translational study was to develop a safe and efficient WT1-T-cell receptor retroviral vector for an adoptive immunotherapy trial with engineered T cells. We generated a panel of retroviral constructs containing unmodified or codon-optimized WT1-T-cell receptor alpha and beta genes, linked via internal ribosome entry sites or 2A sequences, with or without an additional inter-chain disulfide bond in the T-cell receptor constant domains. These constructs were functionally analyzed in vitro, and the best one was tested in an autologous primary leukemia model in vivo. We identified a WT1-T-cell receptor construct that showed optimal tetramer staining, antigen-specific cytokine production and killing activity when introduced into primary human T cells. Fresh CD34(+) cells purified from a patient with leukemia were engrafted into NOD/SCID mice, followed by adoptive immunotherapy with patient's autologous T cells transduced with the WT1-T-cell receptor. This therapeutic treatment evidently decreased leukemia engraftment in mice and resulted in a substantial improvement of leukemia-free survival. This is the first report that patient's T cells, engineered to express the WT1-T-cell receptor, can eliminate autologous leukemia progenitor cells in an in vivo model. This study provides a firm basis for the planned WT1-T-cell receptor gene therapy trial in leukemia patients.Haematologica 09/2009; 95(1):126-34. · 6.42 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Hepatocarcinogenesis is a complex process that remains still partly understood. That might be explained by the multiplicity of etiologic factors, the genetic/epigenetic heterogeneity of tumors bulks and the ignorance of the liver cell types that give rise to tumorigenic cells that have stem cell-like properties. The DNA stress induced by hepatocyte turnover, inflammation and maybe early oncogenic pathway activation and sometimes viral factors, leads to DNA damage response which activates the key tumor suppressive checkpoints p53/p21(Cip1) and p16(INK4a)/pRb responsible of cell cycle arrest and cellular senescence as reflected by the cirrhosis stage. Still obscure mechanisms, but maybe involving the Wnt signaling and Twist proteins, would allow pre-senescent hepatocytes to bypass senescence, acquire immortality by telomerase reactivation and get the last genetic/epigenetic hits necessary for cancerous transformation. Among some of the oncogenic pathways that might play key driving roles in hepatocarcinogenesis, c-myc and the Wnt/β-catenin signaling seem of particular interest. Finally, antiproliferative and apoptosis deficiencies involving TGF-β, Akt/PTEN, IGF2 pathways for instance are prerequisite for cancerous transformation. Of evidence, not only the transformed liver cell per se but the facilitating microenvironment is of fundamental importance for tumor bulk growth and metastasis.Viruses 12/2009; 1(3):852-72. · 1.50 Impact Factor