MUC1-specific immune responses in human MUC1 transgenic mice immunized with various human MUC1 vaccines

Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2000 Jan;48(10):588-94. doi: 10.1007/pl00006677.


Analyses of MUC1-specific cytotoxic T cell precursor (CTLp) frequencies were performed in mice immunized with three different MUC1 vaccine immunotherapeutic agents. Mice were immunized with either a fusion protein comprising MUC1 and glutathione S-transferase (MUC1-GST), MUC1-GST fusion protein coupled to mannan (MFP) or with a recombinant vaccinia virus expressing both MUC1 and interleukin-2. Mouse strain variations in immune responsiveness have been observed with these vaccines. We have constructed mice transgenic for the human MUC1 gene to study MUC1-specific immune responses and the risk of auto-immunity following MUC1 immunization. Transgenic mice immunized with MUC1 were observed to be partially tolerant in that the MUC1-specific antibody response is lower than that observed in syngeneic but non-transgenic mice. However, a significant MUC1-specific CTLp response to all three vaccines was observed, indicating the ability to overcome T cell, but to a lesser extent B cell, tolerance to MUC1 in these mice. Histological analysis indicates no evidence of auto-immunity to the cells expressing the human MUC1 molecule. These results suggest that it is possible to generate an immune response to a cancer-related antigen without damage to normal tissues expressing the antigen.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm / blood
  • Cancer Vaccines / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Mucin-1 / genetics
  • Mucin-1 / immunology*
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / therapy
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology
  • Vaccination


  • Antibodies, Neoplasm
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Mucin-1