Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a herpesvirus commonly associated with several malignancies, particularly in immunocompromised hosts. As a strategy for stimulating immunity against EBV for the treatment of EBV-associated tumors, we have genetically engineered dendritic cells (DC) to express EBV antigens, such as latent membrane protein 2B (LMP2B), using recombinant adenovirus vectors. CD8+ T lymphocytes from HLAA2.1+, EBV-seropositive healthy donors were cultured with autologous DC infected with recombinant adenovirus vector AdEGFP, encoding an enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP), or AdLMP2B at a multiplicity of infection of 250. After 48 h, >95% of the DC were positive for EGFP expression as assessed by fluorescence- activated cell sorting analysis, indicating efficient gene transfer. AdLMP2- transduced DC were used to stimulate CD8+ T cells. Responder CD8+ T cells were tested for gamma interferon (IFN-γ) release by enzyme-linked spot (ELISPOT) assay and cytotoxic activity. Prior to in vitro stimulation, the frequencies of T-cells directed against two HLA-A2-presented LMP2 peptides (LMP2 329-337 and LMP2 426-434) were very low as assessed by IFN-γ spot formation (T-cell frequency, <0.003%). IFN-γ ELISPOT assays performed at day 14 showed a significant (2-log) increase of the day 0 frequency of T cells reactive against the LMP2 329-337 peptide, from 0.003 to 0.3 (P < 0.001). Moreover, specific cytolytic activity was observed against the autologous EBV B-lymphoblastoid cell lines after 21 days of stimulation of T-cell responders with AdLMP2-transduced DC (P < 0.01). In summary, autologous mature DC genetically modified with an adenovirus encoding EBV antigens stimulate the generation of EBV-specific CD8+ effector T cells in vitro, supporting the potential application of EBV-based adenovirus vector vaccination for the immunotherapy of the EBV-associated malignancies.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of virology|
|State||Published - Dec 1999|