Transgenic expression of CD40 ligand produces an in vivo antitumor immune response against both CD40+ and CD40- plasmacytoma cells

Gianpietro Dotti, Barbara Savoldo, Patricia Yotnda, Donna Rill, Malcolm K. Brenner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Because tumor-specific antigens have been identified in multiple myeloma (MM), immunotherapy might provide an additional treatment modality for the disease. Expression of CD40 ligand (CD40L) proximate to the MM cells might serve this purpose, either by increasing their capacity to present self-antigens by activation through their CD40 receptor or by the recruitment of professional antigen-presenting cells (APCs) able to take up and present tumor-associated antigens. To distinguish between these possibilities and predict whether human CD40- myeloma might respond to this approach, we examined 3 murine plasmacytoma cell lines, 2 (MPC-11 and S107) expressing the CD40 molecule and 1 (X-24) lacking such expression. Syngeneic BALB/CBYJ mice were inoculated subcutaneously with tumor cells mixed with CL7.1 fibroblasts, retrovirally transduced to express either the mCD40L or the neo gene. For all 3 plasmacytoma cell lines, coinjection with CL7.1/mCD40L significantly reduced local tumor growth compared with controls. This effect was mediated by a systemic antitumor immune response, since mice immunized with tumor and CL7.1/mCD40L were resistant to subsequent challenge with tumor, and tumor growth inhibition was abolished when CD8+ or CD4+ lymphocytes were depleted. Because expression of CD40L gave equivalent protection from CD40+ and CD40-tumors and transgenic-CD40L failed to up-regulate costimulatory molecules in either tumor, the protective effects of CD40L probably resulted from recruitment/activation of professional APCs rather than from CD40 activation of plasmacytoma cells. As further support of this concept, we found that mice were also well protected if CL7.1 and CD40L were injected together with apoptotic plasmacytoma cells from these tumors. Hence, transgenic CD40L expression may produce an antimyeloma immune response against either CD40+ or CD40- tumors and may be of therapeutic value for both types of myeloma in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-207
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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