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Authors Wentworth L, Meyers JV, Alam S, Russ AJ, Suresh M, Cho CS
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Journal Cancer Immunol. Immunother. Volume: 62 Issue: 1 Pages: 149-59
Publish Date 2013 Jan
PubMed ID 22865267
PMC ID 4550291

We have previously observed that in vivo exposure to growing melanoma tumors fundamentally alters activated T cell homeostasis by suppressing the ability of naïve T cells to undergo antigen-driven proliferative expansion. We hypothesized that exposure of T cells in later stages of differentiation to melanoma would have similar suppressive consequences. C57BL/6 mice were inoculated with media or syngeneic B16F10 melanoma tumors 8 or 60 days after infection with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), and splenic populations of LCMV-specific T cells were quantified using flow cytometry 18 days after tumor inoculation. Inoculation with melanoma on post-infection day 8 potentiated the contraction of previously activated T cells. This enhanced contraction was associated with increased apoptotic susceptibility among T cells from tumor-bearing mice. In contrast, inoculation with melanoma on post-infection day 60 did not affect the ability of previously established memory T cells to maintain themselves in stable numbers. In addition, the ability of previously established memory T cells to respond to LCMV challenge was unaffected by melanoma. Following adoptive transfer into melanoma-bearing mice, tumor-specific memory T cells were significantly more effective at controlling melanoma growth than equivalent numbers of tumor-specific effector T cells. These observations suggest that memory T cells are uniquely resistant to suppressive influences exerted by melanoma on activated T cell homeostasis; these findings may have implications for T cell-based cancer immunotherapy.

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