Pulmonary Tumors Inefficiently Prime Tumor-Specific T Cells

Leigh A. O'Mara, Paul M. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The lung is a common site of metastatic and primary tumor growth, and has been shown to be an immunosuppressive environment. We tested the impact of the lung environment on the development of tumor-specific T cell responses against the CMS5 fibrosarcoma, and found a deficit in the efficacy of naive tumor-specific DUC18 T cells against tumors established in the lung. One hundred-fold more naive tumor-specific T cells were required to protect against tumor development or reject established tumors in the lung than an identical tumor challenge delivered s.c. in the flank. Importantly, CMS5 growing in the flank facilitated the rejection of tumors present in the lungs. In the presence of flank tumors, transferred T cells were not phenotypically altered but were present in much greater numbers in the parabronchial lymph nodes, bronchoalveolar lavage, and lung parenchyma than in mice bearing lung tumors alone. We hypothesized that APC present in the lung and skin draining lymph nodes were differentially initiating T cell proliferation, leading to differences in the size of the final effector populations. A direct comparison of DUC18 T cell proliferation against APC from flank or lung draining lymph nodes showed profoundly greater proliferation to flank draining lymph node APC. The impaired stimulation of naive T cell proliferation by lung draining APC provides one mechanistic explanation for the lower overall immune response, and inability to effectively reject tumors, in the lung.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-317
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004


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