[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Adoptive cell transfer of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes has shown clinical efficacy in the treatment of melanoma and is now also being explored in other tumor types. Generation of sufficient numbers of effector T cells requires extensive ex vivo expansion, often at the cost of T cell differentiation and potency. For the past 20 years, IL-2 has been the key cytokine applied in the expansion of TIL for ACT. However, the use of IL-2 has also led to collateral expansion of regulatory T cells (Tregs) and progressive T cell differentiation, factors known to limit in vivo persistence and activity of transferred TIL. The use of alternative T cell growth factors is therefore warranted. Here, we have compared the effects of IL-2, -15 and -21 cytokines on the expansion and activation of TIL from single-cell suspensions of non-small cell lung cancer, ovarian cancer and melanoma. METHODS: We applied the K562-based artificial APC (aAPC) platform for the direct and rapid expansion of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes isolated from primary cancer specimens. These aAPC were engineered to express the Fc-gamma receptor CD32 (for anti-CD3 antibody binding), the co-stimulatory molecule 4-1BBL, and to secrete either IL-2, IL-15 or IL-21 cytokine. RESULTS: Although IL-2 aAPC induced the greatest overall TIL expansion, IL-21 aAPC induced superior expansion of CD8+ T cells with a CD27+CD28+ "young" phenotype and superior functional cytotoxic effector characteristics, without collateral expansion of Tregs. CONCLUSION: Our data rationalize the clinical application of IL-21-secreting aAPC as a standardized cell-based platform in the expansion of "young" effector TIL for ACT.
Journal of Translational Medicine 02/2013; 11(1):37. · 3.46 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Development of a standardized platform for the rapid expansion of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) with anti-tumor function from patients with limited TIL numbers or tumor tissues challenges their clinical application.
To facilitate adoptive immunotherapy, we applied genetically-engineered K562 cell-based artificial antigen presenting cells (aAPCs) for the direct and rapid expansion of TILs isolated from primary cancer specimens.
TILs outgrown in IL-2 undergo rapid, CD28-independent expansion in response to aAPC stimulation that requires provision of exogenous IL-2 cytokine support. aAPCs induce numerical expansion of TILs that is statistically similar to an established rapid expansion method at a 100-fold lower feeder cell to TIL ratio, and greater than those achievable using anti-CD3/CD28 activation beads or extended IL-2 culture. aAPC-expanded TILs undergo numerical expansion of tumor antigen-specific cells, remain amenable to secondary aAPC-based expansion, and have low CD4/CD8 ratios and FOXP3+ CD4+ cell frequencies. TILs can also be expanded directly from fresh enzyme-digested tumor specimens when pulsed with aAPCs. These "young" TILs are tumor-reactive, positively skewed in CD8+ lymphocyte composition, CD28 and CD27 expression, and contain fewer FOXP3+ T cells compared to parallel IL-2 cultures.
Genetically-enhanced aAPCs represent a standardized, "off-the-shelf" platform for the direct ex vivo expansion of TILs of suitable number, phenotype and function for use in adoptive immunotherapy.
Journal of Translational Medicine 08/2011; 9:131. · 3.46 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have been studying the re-activation of tumor-associated antigen (TAA)-specific CD8(+) T cells in sentinel lymph nodes (SLN) of melanoma patients upon intradermal administration of the CpG-B oligodeoxynucleotide PF-3512676. To facilitate functional testing of T cells from small SLN samples, high-efficiency polyclonal T cell expansion is required. In this study, SLN cells were expanded via classic methodologies with plate- or bead-bound anti-CD3/CD28 antibodies and with the K562/CD32/4-1BBL artificial APC system (K32/4-1BBL aAPC) and analyzed for responsiveness to common recall or TAA-derived peptides. K32/4-1BBL-expanded T cell populations contained significantly more effector/memory CD8(+) T cells. Moreover, recall and melanoma antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells were more frequently detected in K32/4-1BBL-expanded samples as compared with anti-CD3/CD28-expanded samples. We conclude that K32/4-1BBL aAPC are superior to anti-CD3/CD28 antibodies for the expansion of in vivo-primed specific CD8(+) T cells and that their use facilitates the sensitive monitoring of functional anti-tumor T cell immunity in SLN.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human T helper 17 (T(H)17) cells regulate host defense, autoimmunity, and tumor immunity. Although cytokines that control human T(H)17 cell development have been identified, the costimulatory molecules important for T(H)17 cell generation are unknown. Here, we found that the inducible costimulator (ICOS) was critical for the differentiation and expansion of human T(H)17 cells. Human cord blood contained a subset of CD161(+)CD4(+) T cells that were recent emigrants from the thymus, expressed ICOS constitutively, and were imprinted as T(H)17 cells through ICOS signaling. ICOS stimulation induced c-MAF, RORC2, and T-bet expression in these cells, leading to increased secretion of interleukin-21 (IL-21), IL-17, and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) compared with cells stimulated with CD28. Conversely, CD28 ligation abrogated ICOS costimulation, dampening RORC2 expression while promoting the expression of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor, which led to reduced secretion of IL-17 and enhanced production of IL-22 compared with cells stimulated with ICOS. Moreover, ICOS promoted the robust expansion of IL-17(+)IFN-γ(+) human T cells, and the antitumor activity of these cells after adoptive transfer into mice bearing large human tumors was superior to that of cells expanded with CD28. The therapeutic effectiveness of ICOS-expanded cells was associated with enhanced functionality and engraftment in vivo. These findings reveal a vital role for ICOS signaling in the generation and maintenance of human T(H)17 cells and suggest that components of this pathway could be therapeutically targeted to treat cancer or chronic infection and, conversely, that interruption of this pathway may have utility in multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune syndromes. These findings have provided the rationale for designing new clinical trials for tumor immunotherapy.
Science translational medicine 10/2010; 2(55):55ra78. · 10.76 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mesothelin is a cell-surface molecule over-expressed on a large fraction of carcinomas, and thus is an attractive target of immunotherapy. A molecularly targeted therapy for these cancers was created by engineering T cells to express a chimeric receptor with high affinity for human mesothelin. Lentiviral vectors were used to express a single-chain variable fragment that binds mesothelin and that is fused to signaling domains derived from T-cell receptor zeta, CD28, and CD137 (4-1BB). When stimulated by mesothelin, lentivirally transduced T cells were induced to proliferate, express the antiapoptotic gene Bcl-X(L), and secrete multiple cytokines, all features characteristic of central memory T cells. When transferred intratumorally or intravenously into NOD/scid/IL2rgamma(-/-) mice engrafted with large pre-established tumors, the engineered T cells reduced the tumor burden, and in some cases resulted in complete eradication of the tumors at low effector-to-target ratios. Incorporation of the CD137 signaling domain specifically reprogrammed cells for multifunctional cytokine secretion and enhanced persistence of T cells. These findings have important implications for adoptive immunotherapy of cancer, especially in the context of poorly immunogenic tumors. Genetically redirected T cells have promise of targeting T lymphocytes to tumor antigens, confer resistance to the tumor microenvironment, and providing immunosurveillance.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2009; 106(9):3360-5. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many recent advances in basic cell biology and immunology are a harbinger of progress in adoptive cell therapy (ACT) including (1) the finding that host lymphodepletion enhances engraftment and efficacy, (2) the recognition that in vitro T cell functions may not correlate with in vivo efficacy, and (3) the development of advanced ex vivo culture methods to expand lymphocytes to therapeutically effective numbers. In this article, we focus on the development of artificial antigen presenting cells (aAPCs) in our laboratory and their applicability to augment ACT protocols. We also describe how aAPCs can be used to broaden ACT to treat patients with a wide variety of cancers, chronic infectious diseases, and autoimmune manifestations.
Immunologic Research 11/2008; 42(1-3):182-96. · 2.96 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HIV's considerable capacity to vary its HLA-I-restricted peptide antigens allows it to escape from host cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). Nevertheless, therapeutics able to target HLA-I-associated antigens, with specificity for the spectrum of preferred CTL escape mutants, could prove effective. Here we use phage display to isolate and enhance a T-cell antigen receptor (TCR) originating from a CTL line derived from an infected person and specific for the immunodominant HLA-A(*)02-restricted, HIVgag-specific peptide SLYNTVATL (SL9). High-affinity (K(D) < 400 pM) TCRs were produced that bound with a half-life in excess of 2.5 h, retained specificity, targeted HIV-infected cells and recognized all common escape variants of this epitope. CD8 T cells transduced with this supraphysiologic TCR produced a greater range of soluble factors and more interleukin-2 than those transduced with natural SL9-specific TCR, and they effectively controlled wild-type and mutant strains of HIV at effector-to-target ratios that could be achieved by T-cell therapy.
Nature medicine 11/2008; 14(12):1390-5. · 27.14 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previously, we showed that human umbilical cord blood (UCB) regulatory T cells (Tregs) could be expanded approximately 100-fold using anti-CD3/28 monoclonal antibody (mAb)-coated beads to provide T-cell receptor and costimulatory signals. Because Treg numbers from a single UCB unit are limited, we explored the use of cell-based artificial antigen-presenting cells (aAPCs) preloaded with anti-CD3/28 mAbs to achieve higher levels of Treg expansion. Compared with beads, aAPCs had similar expansion properties while significantly increasing transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) secretion and the potency of Treg suppressor function. aAPCs modified to coexpress OX40L or 4-1BBL expanded UCB Tregs to a significantly greater extent than bead- or nonmodified aAPC cultures, reaching mean expansion levels exceeding 1250-fold. Despite the high expansion and in contrast to studies using other Treg sources, neither OX40 nor 4-1BB signaling of UCB Tregs reduced in vitro suppression. UCB Tregs expanded with 4-1BBL expressing aAPCs had decreased levels of proapoptotic bim. UCB Tregs expanded with nonmodified or modified aAPCs versus beads resulted in higher survival associated with increased Treg persistence in a xeno-geneic graft-versus-host disease lethality model. These data offer a novel approach for UCB Treg expansion using aAPCs, including those coexpressing OX40L or 4-1BBL.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Monosomy 1p36 is a subtelomeric deletion syndrome associated with congenital anomalies presumably due to haploinsufficiency of multiple genes. Although immunodeficiency has not been reported, genes encoding costimulatory molecules of the TNF receptor superfamily (TNFRSF) are within 1p36 and may be affected. In one patient with monosomy 1p36, comparative genome hybridization and fluorescence in- situ hybridization confirmed that TNFRSF member OX40 was included within the subtelomeric deletion. T cells from this patient had decreased OX40 expression after stimulation. Specific, ex vivo T cell activation through OX40 revealed enhanced proliferation, and reduced viability of patient CD4+ T cells, providing evidence for the association of monosomy 1p36 with reduced OX40 expression, and decreased OX40-induced T cell survival. These results support a role for OX40 in human immunity, and calls attention to the potential for haploinsufficiency deletions of TNFRSF costimulatory molecules in monosomy 1p36.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The costimulatory requirements required for peripheral blood T regulatory cells (Tregs) are unclear. Using cell-based artificial APCs we found that CD28 but not ICOS, OX40, 4-1BB, CD27, or CD40 ligand costimulation maintained high levels of Foxp3 expression and in vitro suppressive function. Only CD28 costimulation in the presence of rapamycin consistently generated Tregs that consistently suppressed xenogeneic graft-vs-host disease in immunodeficient mice. Restimulation of Tregs after 8–12 days of culture with CD28 costimulation in the presence of rapamycin resulted in >1000-fold expansion of Tregs in <3 wk. Next, we determined whether other costimulatory pathways could augment the replicative potential of CD28-costimulated Tregs. We observed that while OX40 costimulation augmented the proliferative capacity of CD28-costimulated Tregs, Foxp3 expression and suppressive function were diminished. These studies indicate that the costimulatory requirements for expanding Tregs differ from those for T effector cells and, furthermore, they extend findings from mouse Tregs to demonstrate that human postthymic Tregs require CD28 costimulation to expand and maintain potent suppressive function in vivo.
The Journal of Immunology 08/2008; 181(4):2855-2868. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The costimulatory requirements required for peripheral blood T regulatory cells (Tregs) are unclear. Using cell-based artificial APCs we found that CD28 but not ICOS, OX40, 4-1BB, CD27, or CD40 ligand costimulation maintained high levels of Foxp3 expression and in vitro suppressive function. Only CD28 costimulation in the presence of rapamycin consistently generated Tregs that consistently suppressed xenogeneic graft-vs-host disease in immunodeficient mice. Restimulation of Tregs after 8-12 days of culture with CD28 costimulation in the presence of rapamycin resulted in >1000-fold expansion of Tregs in <3 wk. Next, we determined whether other costimulatory pathways could augment the replicative potential of CD28-costimulated Tregs. We observed that while OX40 costimulation augmented the proliferative capacity of CD28-costimulated Tregs, Foxp3 expression and suppressive function were diminished. These studies indicate that the costimulatory requirements for expanding Tregs differ from those for T effector cells and, furthermore, they extend findings from mouse Tregs to demonstrate that human postthymic Tregs require CD28 costimulation to expand and maintain potent suppressive function in vivo.
The Journal of Immunology 08/2008; 181(4):2855-68. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Artificial APCs (aAPCs) genetically modified to express selective costimulatory molecules provide a reproducible, cost-effective, and convenient method for polyclonal and Ag-specific expansion of human T cells for adoptive immunotherapy. Among the variety of aAPCs that have been studied, acellular beads expressing anti-CD3/anti-CD28 efficiently expand CD4+ cells, but not CD8+ T cells. Cell-based aAPCs can effectively expand cytolytic CD8+ cells, but optimal costimulatory signals have not been defined. 4-1BB, a costimulatory molecule expressed by a minority of resting CD8+ T cells, is transiently up-regulated by all CD8+ T cells following activation. We compared expansion of human cytolytic CD8+ T cells using cell-based aAPCs providing costimulation via 4-1BB vs CD28. Whereas anti-CD3/anti-CD28 aAPCs mostly expand naive cells, anti-CD3/4-1BBL aAPCs preferentially expand memory cells, resulting in superior enrichment of Ag-reactive T cells which recognize previously primed Ags and efficient expansion of electronically sorted CD8+ populations reactive toward viral or self-Ags. Using HLA-A2-Fc fusion proteins linked to 4-1BBL aAPCs, 3-log expansion of Ag-specific CD8+ CTL was induced over 14 days, whereas similar Ag-specific CD8+ T cell expansion did not occur using HLA-A2-Fc/anti-CD28 aAPCs. Furthermore, when compared with cytolytic T cells expanded using CD28 costimulation, CTL expanded using 4-1BB costimulation mediate enhanced cytolytic capacity due, in part, to NKG2D up-regulation. These results demonstrate that 4-1BB costimulation is essential for expanding memory CD8+ T cells ex vivo and is superior to CD28 costimulation for generating Ag-specific products for adoptive cell therapy.
The Journal of Immunology 11/2007; 179(7):4910-8. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An essential function of the immunological synapse (IS) is directed secretion. NK cells are especially adept at this activity, as they direct lytic granules to the synapse for secretion, which enables cytotoxicity and facilitates host defense. This initially requires rearrangement of the actin cytoskeleton and, subsequently, microtubule-dependent trafficking of the lytic granules. As these two steps are sequential, specific linkages between them are likely to serve as critical regulators of cytotoxicity. We studied Cdc42-interacting protein-4 (CIP4), which constitutively interacts with tubulin and microtubules but focuses to the microtubule organizing center (MTOC) after NK cell activation, when it is able to associate with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASp) and the actin filament-rich IS. WASp deficiency, overexpression of CIP4, or parts of CIP4 interfere with this union and block normal CIP4 localization, MTOC polarization to the IS, and cytotoxicity. Reduction of endogenous CIP4 expression using small interfering RNA similarly inhibits MTOC polarization and cytotoxic activity but does not impair actin filament accumulation at the IS, or Cdc42 activation. Thus, CIP4 is an important cytoskeletal adaptor that functions after filamentous actin accumulation and Cdc42 activation to enable MTOC polarization and NK cell cytotoxicity.
Journal of Experimental Medicine 11/2007; 204(10):2305-20. · 13.21 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To facilitate the therapeutic application of antigen-presenting cells (APCs), we have developed a cell-based artificial APC (aAPC) system by engineering K562 cells with lentiviruses to direct the stable expression and secretion of a variety of co-stimulatory molecules and cytokines. Here we report the use of a combinatorial lentiviral gene transfer approach to achieve long-term stable expression of at least seven genes in the K562 parental cell line. Expression of various combinations of genes on the aAPC enables the precise determination of human T-cell activation requirements, such that aAPCs can be tailored for the optimal propagation of T-cell subsets with specific growth requirements and distinct functions. The aAPCs support ex vivo growth and long-term expansion of functional human CD8 T cells without requiring the addition of exogenous cytokines, in contrast to the use of natural APCs. Distinct populations of T cells can be expanded with aAPCs expressing CD137L (4-1BBL) and/or CD80. Finally, the aAPCs provide an efficient platform to expand genetically modified T cells and to maintain CD28 expression on CD8 T cells. Therefore, K562-based aAPCs have therapeutic potential for adoptive immunotherapies and vaccinations.