Immunotherapy via gene therapy: Comparison of the effects of tumor cells transduced with the interleukin-2, interleukin-6, or interferon-γ genes Academic Article uri icon


  • We have comparatively analyzed the immune mechanisms induced by and the immunotherapeutic potentials of a highly metastatic clone of the Lewis lung carcinoma, D122, transduced with the interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-6, or interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) genes. All of the D122 cytokine gene-transduced cells induced antitumor CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), as can be judged from in vivo depletion of CD8+ cells and in vitro CTL assays. In vivo depletion of CD4+ cells did not affect the malignant phenotypes of the different D122 gene-modified cells, but in vivo depletion of natural killer (NK) cells resulted in increased malignancy of both D122 cells and D122 gene-modified cells. In accordance with the effects of in vivo NK depletion, D122 as well as D122 derivative cells were sensitive to lysis by polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (poly I:C)-induced activity. We discuss the immune responses generated by the different D122 gene-modified cells in view of their in vivo behavior in syngeneic and nude mice. We also performed comparative analysis of the capacity of vaccinations with irradiated D122 gene-modified cells to cure established micrometastases of parental D122 cells in tumor-operated mice. Vaccinations with D122-IL-2 or -IL-6 secretors did not generate a significant effect. Also, vaccinations with D122-IFN-gamma cells, which showed increased major histocompatibility complex class I expression but did not secrete detectable levels of IFN-gamma, did not cure established micrometastases. Only vaccination with D122-IFN-gamma high secretors efficiently cured postoperated mice carrying established micrometastases. We discuss the relevance of these results to the application of immunotherapy via cytokine gene therapy of human malignancy.

publication date

  • January 1, 1993