MCA106 fibrosarcoma cells transduced with granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor are not superior to the wild-type cells in suppressing the growth of hepatic metastases.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Vaccination with cytokine gene-modified tumor cells augments the immune response against established tumors and protects against tumor challenges. In this study, we investigated the vaccine potential of GM-CSF-transduced MCA106 fibrosarcoma (MCA-GMCSF) cells in the C57BL/6 (B6) murine hepatic metastasis model. METHODS: Experimental mice received one to three weekly vaccines (subcutaneous/intramuscular, s.c./i.m.) of irradiated, parental, or GM-CSF-transduced MCA106 tumor cells. One week after the last immunization, hepatic metastases were established through the intrasplenic injection of live MCA106 parental (MCA106P) tumor cells. The animals were then sacrificed 3-4 weeks after surgery for evaluation of hepatic tumor burden. RESULTS: Based on in vivo experiments, both GM-CSF-modified and parental MCA106 tumor cell vaccines induced strong protection against hepatic tumor growth with grossly visible tumors rarely identified. This protection was evident even at a single vaccine dose of as low as 1x10(5) irradiated cells. Unimmunized control mice, on the other hand, consistently developed substantial hepatic tumors. Cytotoxicity assays on splenocytes (cultured in vitro for 4-5 days) showed that both groups of vaccinated mice developed strong tumor-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) responses. Immunohistochemical analysis of injection sites showed infiltration of dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages into subcutaneously injected MCA-GMCSF cells. Mostly macrophages, however, were seen at the injection site of MCA106P cells. Furthermore, the MCA106P cells expressed high levels of MHC class I antigens and the level of expression was not significantly altered by transduction with the GM-CSF gene. The high expression of MHC class I antigens probably contributed to the strong immunogenicity of the MCA106P cell vaccine. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that MCA106 parental cells are as effective as the GM-CSF-transduced cells in suppressing the growth of hepatic metastases. The cellular immune responses induced by these two vaccines, however, are probably mediated by different subsets of host effector cells. These results have important implications for the use of GM-CSF-transduced cell vaccines in the immunotherapy of tumors that have the propensity to metastasize through the lymphatic channels and the circulatory system.
Dong, XD; Abdel-Wahab, Z; Dematos, P; Fong, T; Pruitt, SK; Seigler, HF
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