Induction of antitumor immunity by intracerebrally implanted rat c6 glioma cells genetically engineered to secrete cytokines

Sheng Hong Tseng*, Lih Hwa Hwang, Swei Ming Lin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

To test whether cytokine gene therapy can be applied to an immunologically privileged site, such as the brain, we investigated antitumor immunity in the brain induced by cytokine-secreting glioma cells. Three cytokine genes, interleukin-2 (IL-2), interleukin-4 (IL-4), and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) were transduced into a rat C6 glioma cell line via a retroviral vector, S2. Rats intracerebrally (IC) implanted with the C6 cells genetically engineered to secrete the cytokines, especially GM-CSF, manifested significantly higher survival rates than those with C6 cells or with C6 cells bearing the control vector (p < 0.002). In vivo, C6 tumors bearing the cytokine genes grew more slowly than wild-type tumors at any time point, and eventually diminished within 6 weeks after tumor cell implantation. Histopathological and immunohistochemical studies revealed that different cytokines induced diverse immune reactions. In the IL-2 group, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells dominated from day 3 to week 4, but disappeared at week 6. Some granulocytes were noted between weeks 2 and 4. In the IL-4 group, eosinophils were noted from day 3 to week 4, and CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, as well as macrophages at week 2. At week 6, only residual levels of macrophages and CD8+ T cells remained. In the GM-CSF group, granulocytes appeared as early as day 1 post-IC tumor implantation, and macrophages at day 2. CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were found from day 3 to week 4. At week 6, only residual CD4+ T cells and macrophages remained. Long-lasting antitumor immunity was confirmed in all groups by rechallenging surviving rats with wild-type C6 cells in the brain 100 days after implanting cytokine gene-bearing C6 cells. In vivo depletion of GM-CSF by anti-GM-CSF antibody further confirmed that the immune reaction induced by GM-CSF-secreting tumor cells were mainly from the action of GM-CSF, rather than the immunogenicity of C6 cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-342
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunotherapy
Volume20
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997

Keywords

  • GM-CSF
  • Glioma
  • IL-2
  • IL-4
  • Tumorigenicity

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