Current subunit vaccines are incapable of inducing Ag-specific CD8(+) T cell cytotoxicity needed for the defense of certain infections and for therapy of neoplastic diseases. In experimental vaccines, cytotoxic responses can be elicited by targeting of Ag into cross-presenting dendritic cells (DC), but almost all available systems use target molecules also expressed on other cells and thus lack the desired specificity. In the present work, we induced CD8(+) T cell cytotoxicity by targeting of Ag to XCR1, a chemokine receptor exclusively expressed on murine and human cross-presenting DC. Targeting of Ag with a mAb or the chemokine ligand XCL1 was highly specific, as determined with XCR1-deficient mice. When applied together with an adjuvant, both vector systems induced a potent cytotoxic response preventing the outgrowth of an inoculated aggressive tumor. By generating a transgenic mouse only expressing the human XCR1 on its cross-presenting DC, we could demonstrate that targeting of Ag using human XCL1 as vector is fully effective in vivo. The specificity and efficiency of XCR1-mediated Ag targeting to cross-presenting DC, combined with its lack of adverse effects, make this system a prime candidate for the development of therapeutic cytotoxic vaccines in humans.
Copyright © 2015 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.