[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Can self-specific T cells that have escaped intrathymic deletion be exploited to generate antitumor immunity? To determine whether antitumor immunity to a self-Ag for which central tolerance exists can be generated, a mouse model is used in which a fragment of the influenza nucleoprotein (NP) is expressed as a transgene under the control of the H-2K promoter in C57BL/10 mice (B10NP mice). In these mice an oligoclonal population of NP-specific T cells escapes thymic and peripheral deletion and can be activated upon immunization. The main hallmark of these self-specific CD8(+) T cells is diminished avidity for the pertinent MHC/peptide complex. We show in this study that intranasal infection with influenza virus can stimulate low-avidity NP-specific T cells to recognize and destroy NP-expressing microtumors in the lung, but not NP-expressing tumors growing s.c. Only a memory NP-specific CD8(+) T cell response can suppress the growth of an s.c. growing NP-expressing tumor. This delay in tumor growth is associated with a dramatic increase in the number of circulating NP-specific CD8(+) T cells. In addition, cultured memory NP-specific T cells require approximately 100-fold less Ag to induce NP-specific lysis than primary T cells, consistent with the observation that memory T cells have an increased avidity due to affinity maturation. Finally, during an NP-specific memory response, substantial numbers of low-avidity NP-specific T cells can be recovered from s.c. growing tumors. Together, these findings indicate that, when only a low-avidity repertoire is available to generate antitumor immunity, the best strategy may be to enhance memory responses.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2002 · The Journal of Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Thymic expression of self-Ags results in the deletion of high-avidity self-specific T cells, but, at least for certain Ags, a residual population of self-specific T cells with low-affinity TCRs remains after negative selection. Such self-specific T cells are thought to play a role in the induction of T cell-mediated autoimmunity, but may also be used for the induction of antitumor immunity against self-Ags. In this study, we examine the functional competence of a polyclonal population of self-specific CD8+ T cells. We show that low-affinity interactions between TCR and peptide are associated with selective loss of critical T cell functions. Triggering of low levels of IFN-gamma production and cytolytic activity through low-affinity TCRs readily occurs provided high Ag doses are used, but IL-2 production and clonal expansion are severely reduced at all Ag doses. Remarkably, a single peptide variant can form an improved ligand for the highly diverse population of low-avidity self-specific T cells and can improve their proliferative capacity. These data provide insight into the inherent limitations of self-specific T cell responses through low-avidity TCR signals and the effect of modified peptide ligands on self-specific T cell immunity.
Preview · Article · Nov 2001 · The Journal of Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: At least four different CD3 polypeptide chains are contained within the mature TCR complex, each encompassing one (CD3gamma, CD3delta, and CD3epsilon) or three (CD3zeta) immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motifs (ITAMs) within their cytoplasmic domains. Why so many ITAMs are required is unresolved: it has been speculated that the different ITAMs function in signal specification, but they may also serve in signal amplification. Because the CD3zeta chains do not contribute unique signaling functions to the TCR, and because the ITAMs of the CD3-gammadeltaepsilon module alone can endow the TCR with normal signaling capacity, it thus becomes important to examine how the CD3gamma-, delta-, and epsilon-ITAMs regulate TCR signaling. We here report on the role of the CD3gamma chain and the CD3gamma-ITAM in peripheral T cell activation and differentiation to effector function. All T cell responses were reduced or abrogated in T cells derived from CD3gamma null-mutant mice, probably because of decreased expression levels of the mature TCR complex lacking CD3gamma. Consistent with this explanation, T cell responses proceed undisturbed in the absence of a functional CD3gamma-ITAM. Loss of integrity of the CD3gamma-ITAM only slightly impaired the regulation of expression of activation markers, suggesting a quantitative contribution of the CD3gamma-ITAM in this process. Nevertheless, the induction of an in vivo T cell response in influenza A virus-infected CD3gamma-ITAM-deficient mice proceeds normally. Therefore, if ITAMs can function in signal specification, it is likely that either the CD3delta and/or the CD3epsilon chains endow the TCR with qualitatively unique signaling functions.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2001 · The Journal of Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Here we investigate the minimal requirements for induction of an anti-tumor response in CD8 T cells in vivo. We compare the efficacy of adoptive transfer of CD8 T cells with a transgenic TCR specific for the main cytotoxic T lymphocyte epitope of the influenza virus nucleoprotein (NP) on the growth of NP-expressing EL4 tumors under different conditions. In a setting in which tumor rejection is solely dependent on tumor-specific CD8 T cells, small immunogenic tumors fail to induce a rejection response, despite the fact that they are not ignored: tumor-specific CD8 T cells are activated, differentiate into effector cells and infiltrate the tumor bed. Nevertheless, tumor rejection does not occur. In sharp contrast, the same immunogenic tumor, when growing as a large tumor mass, is rejected by transferred tumor-specific CD8 T cells. The main features which distinguish the rejection response to a large tumor mass from the response to a small tumor is that, in the latter case, activated CD8 T cells appear much later, and in much smaller numbers. Efficacy of adoptive transfer is thus dictated by the size of the tumor mass at the time of transfer. These findings predict that treatment of minimal residual disease with adoptive transfer will fail, unless vaccination is also provided at the time of transfer.
Full-text · Article · May 2000 · European Journal of Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is well established that expression of self antigens results in the deletion of the functional high-avidity self-specific T cell repertoire. Due to the low frequency of naturally occurring low-avidity self-specific T cells, a detailed evaluation of their ability to survive and differentiate into effector and memory populations in vivo has yet to be obtained. We here employ tetramer technology to characterize and determine the in vivo fate of a self-specific CD8+ T cell population specific for a ubiquitously expressed T cell epitope. We find that in influenza nucleoprotein (NP)-transgenic mice (B10NP mice) an oligoclonal population of NP366 – 374-specific T cells can be triggered by live influenza virus exposure. The main hallmark of this self-specific T cell population is its diminished avidity for the tetrameric MHC / NP peptide complex. These low-avidity T cells are not deleted and do not down-regulate their antigen or CD8 receptors, and exhibit cytolytic activity towards tumor cells expressing NP endogenously. Strikingly, a secondary influenza infection generates a typical memory response in the low-avidity repertoire. The observation that low-avidity T cells persist in vivo and can differentiate into memory T cells underscores their potential role in anti-tumor immunity.
Full-text · Article · May 2000 · European Journal of Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a local immune response, the priming and expansion of the antigen-specific T cell population has been thought to largely take place in the draining lymphoid tissue. This model was primarily based on indirect enumeration of antigen-specific T cells by limiting dilution analyses. Here, tetrameric MHC class I complexes were used to evaluate the contribution of different secondary lymphoid organs in a local immune response by following the CD8+ T cell responses against the immunodominant epitopes of influenza A virus and herpes simplex virus-1. Mice were either intranasally infected with influenza A virus and developed pneumonia or were intradermally injected with herpes simplex virus-1. Remarkably, even though these viruses cause a local infection, the spleen of infected animals contains approximately 50-fold more antigen-specific cytotoxic T cells than the draining lymph nodes. Although antigen-specific T cells in spleen appear not to have experienced any recent encounter with antigen, this population is actively dividing, and over time, the formation of a memory T cell population is observed. These data reveal that there is a remarkably large and distinct population of antigen-specific T cells in spleen in the course of a local antigenic challenge. This T cell compartment may not only form the foundation of a memory T cell pool but could also provide a safeguard against systemic spreading of an infection.
Full-text · Article · Apr 1999 · European Journal of Immunology