Activation by anti-CD3 of tumor-draining lymph node cells for specific adoptive immunotherapy

Cell Immunol. 1991 May;134(2):473-9. doi: 10.1016/0008-8749(91)90318-6.


Lymph nodes draining progressive tumors contain tumor-sensitized but not functional preeffector T lymphocytes. These cells can acquire antitumor reactivity after stimulation with tumor cells and interleukin-2 (IL-2). We demonstrated here that, in the absence of tumor cells, preeffector cells could be stimulated and expanded by sequential culture with anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody and IL-2. The adoptive transfer of such activated cells mediated immunologically specific reductions of established pulmonary metastases. The therapeutic effects could be enhanced by the administration of IL-2. This activation represents a secondary immune response because effector cells could be generated only from tumor-draining but not from normal or adjuvant-stimulated lymph nodes. Furthermore, treatment of advanced metastases with these cells resulted in prolongation of survival and cure of the disease. Thus, anti-CD3 may serve as a universal reagent for activating tumor-sensitized T lymphocytes for cancer therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology*
  • Antigens, CD / immunology*
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte / immunology*
  • CD3 Complex
  • Female
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive*
  • Interleukin-2 / pharmacology
  • Lymph Nodes / immunology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred DBA
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / immunology*
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / therapy
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
  • CD3 Complex
  • Interleukin-2
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell