Cross-presentation of cell-bound Ags from established, solid tumors to CD8 cells is efficient and likely to have a role in determining host response to tumor. A number of investigators have predicted that when tumor Ags are derived from apoptotic cells either no response, due to Ag "sequestration," or CD8 cross-tolerance would ensue. Because the crucial issue of whether this happens in vivo has never been addressed, we induced apoptosis of established hemagglutinin (HA)-transfected AB1 tumors in BALB/c mice using the apoptosis-inducing reagent gemcitabine. This shrank the tumor by similar to80%. This induction of apoptosis increased cross-presentation of HA to CD8 cells yet neither gross deletion nor functional tolerance of HA-specific CD8 cells were observed, based on tetramer analysis, proliferation of specific CD8 T cells, and in vivo CTL activity. Interestingly, apoptosis primed the host for a strong antitumor response to a second, virus-generated HA-specific signal in that administration of an RA-expressing virus after gemcitabine administration markedly decreased tumor growth compared with viral administration without gemcitabine. Thus tumor cell apoptosis in vivo neither sequesters tumor Ags nor cross-tolerizes tumor-specific CD8 cells. This observation has fundamental consequences for the development of tumor immunotherapy protocols and for understanding T cell reactivity to tumors and the in vivo immune responses to apoptotic cells.