Murine dendritic cells pulsed with whole tumor lysates mediate potent antitumor immune responses in vitro and in vivo

R. C. Fields, K. Shimizu, J. J. Mulé

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398 Scopus citations


The highly efficient nature of dendritic cells (DC) as antigen- presenting cells raises the possibility of uncovering in tumor-bearing hosts very low levels of T cell reactivity to poorly immunogenic tumors that are virtually undetectable by other means. Here, we demonstrate the in vitro and in vivo capacities of murine bone marrow-derived, cytokine-driven DC to elicit potent and specific anti-tumor responses when pulsed with whole tumor lysates. Stimulation of naive spleen-derived T cells by tumor lysate-pulsed DC generated tumor-specific proliferative cytokine release and cytolytic reactivities in vitro. In addition, in two separate strains of mice with histologically distinct tumors, s.c. injections of DC pulsed with whole tumor lysates effectively primed these animals to reject subsequent lethal challenges with viable parental tumor cells and, important to note, also mediated significant reductions in the number of metastases established in the lungs. Tumor rejection depended on host-derived CD8+ T cells and, to a lesser extent, CD4+ T cells. Spleens from mice that had rejected their tumors contained specific precursor cytotoxic T lymphocytes. The use of whole tumor lysates as a source of tumor-associated antigen(s) for pulsing of DC circumvents several limitations encountered with other methods as well as provides certain distinct advantages, which are discussed. These data serve as rationale for our recent initiation of a phase I clinical trial of immunization with autologous tumor lysate-pulsed DC in adult and pediatric cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9482-9487
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 4 1998


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