Thus, CD4+ T cells have not been widely exploited in ACT as well

Thus, CD4+ T cells have not been widely exploited in ACT as well as the properties (i.e. homing potential, functionality, and survival) that CD4+ T cells might require for successful applications in ACT are much less known than in the case for CD8+ CTL. A large, still not definitive, amount of literature underline how IL-2, IL-7 and IL-15 play non-redundant

roles in shaping the representation of memory cells 19–23. IL-2 controls T-cell clonal expansion and contraction, and promotes lymphocyte differentiation. IL-2 and IL-15 can also support memory cell division and have been used in combination with Ag-driven stimulation, for the expansion of CTL 24–29. IL-7 regulates peripheral T-cell homeostasis, and contributes to the generation and Sirolimus cell line long-term survival of both CD4+ and CD8+ memory T lymphocytes in vivo30, 31. In some cases IL-7 amplifies Ag-driven T-cell responses 32–36, favors the transition of effector to memory cells 31, 37–39, and sustains a slow, homeostatic-like, Ag-independent memory T-cell proliferation 24, 30, 40. Furthermore, its administration

at the time of Ag withdrawal supports memory CD8+ T-cell generation 41, and enhances vaccine-mediated immunity when provided in adjuvant settings 42, 43. Based on our previous results showing that tumours only allow a limited expansion of effector CD4+ T cells, while hinder both natural and vaccine-induced memory-like cell responses 10, 15, we attempted the ex vivo expansion of tumour-specific CD4+ T cells to be used in ACT, using common-γ-chain receptor cytokines. We report the ability of IL-7, rather than IL-2 in expanding tumour-sensitized T cells in short-term cultures, capable of sustaining anti-tumour protection in ACT settings. We and others previously characterized Ag-specific CD4+ T-cell responses by fluorescent fantofarone MHC class II/peptide multimer and Ag-specific intracellular cytokine staining in 16.2β mice 10, 44, which express a Tg TCR-β-chain specific

for the Leishmania receptor for Activated C Kinase (LACK, derived from Leishmania Major) Ag coupled to a polyclonal α-chain TCR repertoire. This allows the identification of both naive (∼0.5% of CD4+ cells) and memory polyclonal LACK-specific CD4+ T cells. By using this model, we found that TS/A tumours expressing LACK as an intracellular tumour-associated Ag (TS/A-LACK tumour cells) promote the expansion of short-lived LACK-specific effector-like CD4+ T cells, while hinder the accumulation of both natural- and vaccine-induced central memory-like T cells 10, 15. As IL-7 is known to support memory CD4+ T-cell expansion following Ag withdrawal 41, we asked whether this cytokine could be used in short-term in vitro cultures for the expansion of tumour-sensitized CD4+ T cells useful in ACT settings. In agreement with our previous findings, CD4+CD44high T cells able to bind I-Ad/LACK fluorescent multimers (Fig. 1A) and to secrete IL-2 and/or IFN-γ upon LACK-specific stimulation (Fig.

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