Exogenous stress proteins enhance the immunogenicity of apoptotic tumor cells and stimulate antitumor immunity.

Feng H, Zeng Y, Graner MW, Likhacheva A, Katsanis E
Associated Labs:
Feng Lab (University of Maryland, Baltimore)
Blood. 2003 Jan 1. 101(1):245-52.
PMID: 12393411
We have previously reported that apoptotic tumor cells can be either immunogenic or nonimmunogenic in vivo, depending on whether or not these cells are heat stressed before induction of apoptosis. Stressed apoptotic cells express heat shock proteins on their plasma membranes and dendritic cells are capable of distinguishing them from nonstressed apoptotic cells. Here we provide evidence that when purified heat shock protein 70 or chaperone-rich cell lysate (CRCL) from syngeneic normal tissue is used as an adjuvant with nonimmunogenic apoptotic tumor cells in vaccination, potent antitumor immunity can be generated. This antitumor immunity is mediated by T cells because antitumor effects are not observed in either severe combined immunodeficiency or T cell-depleted mice. We further demonstrate that vaccination of mice with apoptotic tumor cells mixed with liver-derived CRCL as adjuvant were capable of enhancing the production of T(H)1 cytokines, inducing specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes and eliciting long-lasting antitumor immunity. Stress proteins from autologous normal tissue components therefore can serve as danger signals to enhance the immunogenicity of apoptotic tumor cells and stimulate tumor-specific immunity

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