Induction and clonal expansion of tumor-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes from renal cell carcinoma patients after stimulation with autologous dendritic cells loaded with tumor cells

Int J Cancer. 2001 Mar 15;91(6):749-56. doi: 10.1002/1097-0215(200002)9999:9999<::aid-ijc1141>;2-x.


Melanoma and renal cell carcinoma (RCC) are considered to be the most immunogenic tumors in humans. To generate conditions to induce primary T-cell responses against RCC and to allow further expansion of tumor-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) for adoptive transfer, peripheral blood mononuclear cells from RCC patients were stimulated with primary autologous tumor cells or monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DC) loaded with either tumor lysate (TU-LY) or apoptotic tumor cells (TU-AP). Whereas repetitive stimulation (4x) with tumor cells alone induced a predominant population of CD3(-) natural killer cells, 4 weeks of stimulation with tumor-loaded DC favored induction and expansion of CD4+ T cells (>80%). However, 2 weekly stimulation cycles with tumor-loaded DC followed by restimulation with autologous irradiated tumor cells alone were optimal for induction of tumor-specific CTL responses in vitro. Using these culture conditions a marked increase of CD4+ T cells was observed during the first 2 weeks of stimulation with tumor-loaded DC. Subsequent restimulation with autologous tumor cells alone gave rise to 500-fold expansion of CD8+ T cells. These CD8+ T cells were shown to exhibit strong major histocompatibility complex class I-restricted cytotoxic activity against the autologous tumor. Comparison of TU-LY and TU-AP as a source of tumor antigen for loading DC did not show any difference in stimulating tumor-specific CTL. Length pattern analysis of the complementary determining region 3 (CDR3) of the T-cell receptor Vbeta chain revealed expansion of oligoclonal CTL populations with outgrowth of 1 or 2 clones after prolonged stimulation with autologous tumor cells. Our study demonstrated an efficient method for generating tumor-specific CTL in vitro that may be used to identify tumor cell antigens or that can be expanded for adoptive T-cell transfer in tumor immunotherapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / analysis
  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Aged
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology
  • Apoptosis
  • Blotting, Western
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8 Antigens / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / immunology*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / therapy
  • Complementarity Determining Regions / analysis
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Genes, MHC Class I / immunology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-2 / metabolism
  • Kidney Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / therapy
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monocytes / immunology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • CD8 Antigens
  • Complementarity Determining Regions
  • Interleukin-2
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell