A multifaceted immunotherapeutic strategy that includes hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation, T-cell adoptive transfer, and tumor vaccination can effectively eliminate established neuroblastoma tumors in mice. In vivo depletion of CD4+ T cells in HSC transplantation recipients results in increased antitumor immunity when adoptively transferred T cells are presensitized, but development of T-cell memory is severely compromised. Because increased percentages of regulatory T (Treg) cells are seen in HSC transplantation recipients, here we hypothesized that the inhibitory effect of CD4+ T cells is primarily because of the presence of expanded Treg cells. Remarkably, adoptive transfer of presensitized CD25-depleted T cells increased tumor vaccine efficacy. The enhanced antitumor effect achieved by ex vivo depletion of CD25+ Treg cells was similar to that achieved by in vivo depletion of all CD4+ T cells. Depletion of CD25+ Treg cells resulted in elevated frequencies of tumor-reactive CD8 and CD4 + T cells and increased CD8-to-Treg cell ratios inside tumor masses. All mice given presensitized CD25-depleted T cells survived a tumor rechallenge, indicating the development of long-term CD8+ T-cell memory to tumor antigens. These observations should aid in the future design of immunotherapeutic approaches that promote the generation of both acute and long-term antitumor immunity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology