Clinical benefits from monoclonal antibody therapy for B-chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) have increased interest in developing additional immunotherapies for the disease. CD40 ligand is an accessory signal for T-cell activation and can overcome T-cell anergy. The OX40-OX40 ligand pathway is involved in the subsequent expansion of memory antigen-specific T cells. We expressed both CD40L and OX40L on B-CLL cells by exploiting the phenomenon of molecular transfer from fibroblasts overexpressing these ligands. We analyzed the effects of the modified B-CLL cells on the number, phenotype, and cytotoxic function of autologous T cells in 7 B-CLL patients. Transfer of CD40L and OX40L was observed in all and was followed by the up-regulaiion of B7-1 and B7-2. The culture of CD40L/OX40L-expressing B-CLL cells with autologous T cells generated CD4+/CD8+ cytotoxic T-cell lines, which secreted interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and granzyme-B/perforin in response to autologous, but not to allogeneic, B-CLL cells or to autologous T-cell blasts. CD40L or OX40L alone was insufficient to expand tumor-reactive T cells. The combination of CD40L and OX40L on B-CLL cells may allow the generation of therapeutic immune responses to B-CLL, either by active immunization with modified tumor cells or by adoptive immunotherapy with tumor-reactive autologous T cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology