Fractalkine (FK, also called neurotactin or CX3CL1) is a CX3C chemokine that can chemoattract T lymphocytes, monocytes and NK cells. In our study, we investigated the induction of antitumor response by FK gene transfer. FK gene-modified 3LL lung carcinoma cells (3LL-FK) could both secrete soluble form and express membrane-bound form of FK. The tumor growth of 3LL-FK was decreased. Vaccination with 3LL-FK was effective in the induction of protective immunity and CTL. In vivo depletion analysis demonstrated that CD8(+) T cells are the main participating cells of the antitumor response. Obvious infiltrations of CD8(+) T cells, CD4(+) T cells and dendritic cells (DC) were observed in the tumor sites, suggesting that 3LL-FK might induce antitumor immunity through chemoattraction and activation of T cells and DC. Then we investigated the chemoattraction and activation of DC by 3LL-FK. Chemotaxis assay showed that the supernatants of 3LL-FK could chemoattract immature DC, which were found to express FK receptor CX3CR1, and the immature DC could obviously adhere to 3LL-FK. Adherence of DC to 3LL-FK resulted in phenotypic maturation and upregulated IL-12 secretion of DC, and more strong stimulation of allogeneic T-cell proliferation by DC. The increased production of IL-2 and IFNgamma in 3LL-FK tumor tissue was also observed. Our data suggested that FK gene transfer to tumor cells could induce T-cell-dependent antitumor immunity through chemoattraction and activation of DC.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.