Sequential loss of cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses to simian virus 40 large T antigen epitopes in t antigen transgenic mice developing osteosarcomas

Todd D. Schell, Barbara B. Knowles, Satvir S. Tevethia

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46 Scopus citations


The role of CTL tolerance in tumor immunity to SV40 large T antigen (T ag)-induced tumors was studied using T ag transgenic mice of the line 501 (H2b). 501 mice express SV40 T ag under the influence of the α-amylase promoter, which leads to the development of osteogenic osteosarcomas late in life and eventual death between 12 and 17 months of age. We determined the ability of 501 mice to respond to the four H2-b-restricted T ag CTL epitopes, which include epitope 1 (T ag 206-215), epitope II/III (T ag 223- 231), the immunorecessive epitope V (T ag 489-497), restricted by H2-Db, and epitope IV (T ag 404-411), restricted by H2-Kb. We demonstrate that 501 mice are partially tolerant to the H2b-restricted T ag epitopes. Immunization of 4-month-old 501 mice with T ag-transformed syngeneic cell lines or a recombinant vaccinia virus expressing full-length T ag elicited CTL responses against the H2-Kb-restricted T ag epitope IV only. In contrast, immunization of 4-month-old 501 mice with recombinant vaccinia viruses expressing individual T ag epitopes as minigenes elicited CTLs against epitopes I, IV, and V, but not against epitope II/III. Complete tolerance to epitopes I, IV, and V developed in 501 mice, but the age when tolerance was detected varied for each epitope. Tolerance to epitope I occurred by 6 months of age and was accelerated in the absence of CD4+ T cells. Tolerance to the immunorecessive epitope V was observed in 12-month-old 501 mice but was independent of the presence of osteosarcomas. In contrast, CTLs specific for epitope IV were detected in mice from 3 to 14 months of age but not in mice that had developed osteosarcomas. Analysis of epitope IV-specific CD8+ cells derived from 3-month-old 501 mice with H2-Kb/epitope IV tetramers revealed decreased numbers of epitope IV-specific CD8+ cells in 501 mice relative to C57BL/6 mice, with a further decrease in older 501 mice. Tumor progression resulted in loss of H2-Kb/epitope IV tetramer staining CD8+ cells. Thus, progression to tolerance to individual T ag CTL epitopes in 501 mice is epitope dependent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3002-3012
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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