Mammary cancer is among the most prevalent of canine tumors frequently resulting in death due to metastatic disease. Most tumors fail to raise an effective immune reaction making improving immune recognition a priority. Hybrid-cell fusion strategies have been employed to load dendritic cell populations with tumor cell antigens to stimulate immune recognition; however, recovery, heterogeneity and quality of primary cells from patients present enormous challenges. We employed allogeneic cell lines to develop an improved hybrid-cell fusion strategy and evaluated immune reactions in normal laboratory beagles. Such a strategy relies on enhanced immune recognition of allogeneic tumor cell antigens by antigen presenting cells. Optimized PEG-promoted fusions between uniquely stained canine mammary tumor CMT12 or CMT28 cells and a dendritic cell-like DH82 cell fusion partner resulted in greater than 40% hybrid-cell fusion populations by flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy. Hybrid-cell fusions were delivered by direct ultrasound guided injection into popliteal lymph nodes of laboratory beagles. Only hybrid-cell fusions provided statistically significant enhancement of cell-mediated immunity (51Cr-release assay) compared to innate reactions in naïve vehicle injected dogs while dogs vaccinated with either single cell component alone did not. Vaccination with hybrid-cell fusions enhanced IFN-γ expression in sorted CD8+ and CD4+ cells but not in CD4-/CD8- cells consistent with a CTL response. Cell-mediated immune assays revealed strong reactions against matched (vaccine component) CMT cells and unmatched CMT cells indicative of an immune response to mammary cancer antigens common to both cell lines. These results provide proof of principle for development of an allogeneic vaccination strategy against canine mammary cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-304
Number of pages16
JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jun 15 2008


  • Allogeneic
  • Canine mammary cancer
  • Dendritic cells
  • Hybrid-cell fusion
  • Vaccine


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