The role of tumor-specific CD8 and CD4 lymphocytes in rejecting solid tumors has been difficult to determine because of the lack of models in which tumor antigen, specific CD8 cells, and specific CD4 cells can be monitored and controlled. To investigate the minimal components required for the induction and maintenance of CTL activity sufficient to reject a solid tumor in vivo, we transfected the influenza hemagglutinin (HA) gene into a nonimmunogenic class I+/class II- murine malignant mesothelioma (MM) tumor line to generate an endogenous tumor antigen and used TCR transgenic mice with class I- or class II-restricted specificities for HA as sources of naive, tumor-specific T cells. The data show that the presence of a strong tumor antigen is not in itself sufficient to induce an effective CTL response, nor does the presence of a high frequency of precursor cells guarantee tumor rejection. We also show that tumor-specific CD4 cells, when CTL numbers are suboptimal, greatly enhance the eradication of tumor, confirming the importance of antigen-presenting cell presentation of tumor antigens to class II-restricted cells. These data confirm that T-cell receptor transgenic cells, combined with nominal tumor antigen transfection, represent powerful tools to analyze tumor-specific T-cell responses.
|Publication status||Published - 1999|