Both CD8 and CD4 T cells contribute to immunosurveillance preventing the development of neoantigen-expressing autochthonous sarcomas

bioRxiv [Preprint]. 2023 Apr 6:2023.04.04.535550. doi: 10.1101/2023.04.04.535550.


The adaptive immune system plays an essential anti-tumor role through immunosurveillance and response to immunotherapies. Characterizing phenotypic features and mechanisms of dysfunction of tumor-specific T cell populations may uncover novel immunotherapeutic targets and biomarkers of response. To study tumor-specific T cell responses in vivo, a tumor model must express a known neoantigen. While transplant models with known neoantigen expression are widely available, autochthonous tumor models in which the tumor coevolves with the immune system are limited. In this study, we combined CRISPR/Cas9 and sleeping beauty transposase technology to develop an autochthonous orthotopic murine sarcoma model with oncogenic KrasG12D, functionally impaired p53, and expression of known MHCI and MHCII sarcoma neoantigens. Using MHC tetramer flow cytometry, we identified a tumor-specific immune response in the peripheral blood as early as 10 days after tumor induction leading to tumor clearance. Tumors developed at high penetrance after co-depletion of CD8 and CD4 T cells, but depletion of either CD8 or CD4 T cells alone was insufficient to permit tumor growth. These results suggest that CD8 and CD4 T cells can independently contribute to immunosurveillance leading to clearance of sarcomas expressing MHCI and MHCII neoantigens.

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  • Preprint