Monitoring the trafficking of adoptively transferred antigen- specific CD8-positive T cells in vivo, using noninvasive luminescence imaging

Hum Gene Ther. 2007 Jul;18(7):575-88. doi: 10.1089/hum.2007.038.


Understanding of the trafficking of antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells in vivo will provide insight about how our immune system controls infectious diseases and cancers. In the current study we used a luciferase-expressing human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16) E7-specific CD8(+) T cell for adoptive transfer to control E7-expressing TC-1 tumor cells. We used noninvasive luminescence imaging to monitor the trafficking of E7-specific CD8(+) T cells over time. We also boosted the luciferase-expressing E7-specific CD8(+) T cells in vivo, using E7-expressing vaccinia. We found that injected E7-specific T cells preferentially migrated to the E7-expressing tumor site but not to the E7-negative control tumor site, and increased in number at the tumor site over time. In addition, vaccination with E7-expressing vaccinia led to a significant increase in the number of E7-specific CD8(+) T cells at the tumor site, resulting in a significant antitumor effect compared with vaccination with wild-type vaccinia. Thus, our data suggest that the antitumor effects generated by adoptive transfer of E7-specific CD8(+) T cells can be significantly enhanced by vaccination with E7-expressing vaccinia and that our system represents a plausible approach to investigate the trafficking and biology of antigen-specific T cells in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / transplantation
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Movement*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Human papillomavirus 16 / genetics
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive*
  • Luminescent Measurements
  • Luminescent Proteins / analysis*
  • Luminescent Proteins / genetics
  • Luminescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neoplasm Proteins / immunology*
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / immunology
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / therapy*
  • Papillomavirus E7 Proteins / immunology*
  • Papillomavirus E7 Proteins / metabolism
  • Retroviridae / genetics
  • Transduction, Genetic
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccinia virus / genetics


  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Papillomavirus E7 Proteins
  • TCIM protein, human