In vivo programming of tumor antigen-specific T lymphocytes from pluripotent stem cells to promote cancer immunosurveillance

Fengyang Lei, Baohua Zhao, Rizwanul Haque, Xiaofang Xiong, Lynn Budgeon, Neil D. Christensen, Yuzhang Wu, Jianxun Song

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42 Scopus citations


Adoptive T-cell immunotherapy has garnered wide attention, but its effective use is limited by the need of multiple ex vivo manipulations and infusions that are complex and expensive. In this study, we show how highly reactive antigen (Ag)-specific CTLs can be generated from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to provide an unlimited source of functional CTLs for adoptive immunotherapy. iPS cell-derived T cells can offer the advantages of avoiding possible immune rejection and circumventing ethical and practical issues associated with other stem cell types. iPS cells can be differentiated into progenitor T cells in vitro by stimulation with the Notch ligand Delta-like 1 (DL1) overexpressed on bone marrow stromal cells, with complete maturation occurring upon adoptive transfer into Rag1-deficient mice. Here, we report that these iPS cells can be differentiated in vivo into functional CTLs after overexpression of MHC I-restricted Ag-specific T-cell receptors (TCR). In this study, we generated murine iPS cells genetically modified with ovalbumin (OVA)-specific and MHC-I restricted TCR (OT-I) by retrovirus-mediated transduction. After their adoptive transfer into recipient mice, the majority of OT-I/iPS cells underwent differentiation into CD8+ CTLs. TCR-transduced iPS cells developed in vivo responded in vitro to peptide stimulation by secreting interleukin 2 and IFN-g. Most importantly, adoptive transfer of TCR-transduced iPS cells triggered infiltration of OVA-reactive CTLs into tumor tissues and protected animals from tumor challenge. Taken together, our findings offer proof of concept for a potentially more efficient approach to generate Ag-specific T lymphocytes for adoptive immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4742-4747
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 15 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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