Memory T Cells Originate from Adoptively Transferred Effectors and Reconstituting Host Cells after Sequential Lymphodepletion and Adoptive Immunotherapy

Li Xin Wang, Jorgen Kjaergaard, Peter A Cohen, Suyu Shu, Gregory E. Plautz

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21 Scopus citations


Adoptive transfer of tumor-specific effector T cells induces regression of advanced tumors and induces a long term memory response; however, the origin of this response has not been clearly defined. In this study Thy1.2+ mice bearing advanced MCA-205 tumors were treated with sublethal total body irradiation, followed by adoptive transfer of congenic Thy1.1+ T cells that had been sensitized to tumor in vivo and then activated ex vivo with anti-CD3, IL-2, and IL-7. Splenocytes were recovered >140 days after the initial therapy, and the L-selectinlow memory cell subset was separated into host Thy1.2+ and transferred Thy1.1+ cells and restimulated ex vivo. Both adoptively transferred Thy1.1+ cells as well as reconstituted host Thy1.2+ cells could specifically eliminate MCA-205 pulmonary metastases. Interestingly, hosts with partial responses followed by tumor recurrence nevertheless harbored memory cells that could be isolated and numerically amplified ex vivo to regenerate potent effector function. Memory cells were recovered after adoptive transfer into lymphodepleted nontumor-bearing hosts, indicating that they were not dependent on continued Ag exposure. These experiments establish that rapid ex vivo expansion of tumor Ag-primed T cells does not abrogate their capacity to become long-lived memory cells. Moreover, immune-mediated tumor regression coincident with lymphoid reconstitution produces another wave of host memory cells. These data suggest an approach to rescuing antitumor immune function even in hosts with long-standing progressive tumor through restorative ex vivo activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3462-3468
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2004
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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