We have previously shown in a murine acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) model that leukemic mice can be cured with a B7 vaccine if immunized early in the disease and that CD8+ T cells are necessary for tumor rejection. However, when B7 vaccine is administered 2 weeks after leukemia inoculation, the effect is only prolonged survival, ending in death virtually of all the mice. To distinguish between tumor kinetics and tumor-induced immunosuppression as potential mechanisms eliminating the therapeutic potential of late B7 vaccines, we performed in vitro T-cell studies during leukemia progression and in vivo studies on the clinical outcome of late B7 vaccines in combination with prior cytoreductive chemotherapy. Our results show that CD8+ T cells from leukemic mice 1 and 2 weeks after leukemia inoculation proliferate more vigorously in response to in vitro activation than cells from normal mice and produce Th1-type cytokines interleukin-2 and interferon-γ. Cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) assays demonstrate that cells from week-2 vaccinated mice (which succumb to their leukemia), surprisingly develop a stronger CTL activity than cells from week-1 vaccinated mice (which reject their leukemia). Finally, the combination of late chemotherapy and late B7 vaccine administration can cure only 20% of leukemic mice, whereas early chemotherapy and the same late B7 vaccine administration cure 100% of leukemic mice. These results demonstrate that in murine AML tumor growth does not induce T-cell anergy or a Th2 cytokine profile and suggest that tumor growth is most likely to be the limiting factor in the curative potential of late B7 vaccines.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology