Identification and in vitro expansion of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells specific for human neutrophil elastase.

Hematology Branch, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
Blood (Impact Factor: 9.78). 05/2004; 103(8):3076-83. DOI: 10.1182/blood-2003-07-2424
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Human neutrophil elastase (HNE) and proteinase 3 (PRO3) are myeloid tissue-restricted serine proteases, aberrantly expressed by myeloid leukemia cells. PRO3 and HNE share the PR1 peptide sequence that induces HLA-A*0201-restricted cytotoxic T cells (CTLs) with antileukemia reactivity. We studied the entire HNE protein for its ability to induce CTLs. In an 18-hour culture, HNE-loaded monocytes stimulated significant intracellular interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) production by CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in 12 of 20 and 8 of 20 healthy individuals, respectively. Lymphocytes from 2 HNE responders were pulsed weekly for 4 weeks to generate HNE-specific CTLs. One of 2 HLA-A*0201-negative individuals inhibited the colony formation of HLA-identical chronic myelogenous leukemia progenitor cells (73% inhibition at 50:1 effector-target [E/T] ratio), indicating that peptides other than PR1 can induce leukemia-reactive CTLs. Repetitive stimulations with HNE in 2 of 5 HLA-A*0201+ individuals increased PR1 tetramer-positive CD8+ T-cell frequencies from 0.1% to 0.29% and 0.02% to 0.55%, respectively. These CTLs recognized PR1 peptide or killed HNE-loaded targets. These results indicate that exogenously processed HNE is a source of PR1 peptide as well as other peptide sequences capable of inducing leukemia-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cells. HNE could, therefore, be used in an HLA-unrestricted manner to induce leukemia-reactive CTLs for adoptive immunotherapy.

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