A novel mouse model for evaluation and prediction of HLA-A2-restricted CEA cancer vaccine responses

Antonella Conforti, Daniela Peruzzi, Patrizia Giannetti, Antonella Biondo, Gennaro Ciliberto, Nicola La Monica, Luigi Aurisicchio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A2.1 transgenic mice (HHD) represent a valuable model to study and predict the immunogenicity of vaccines against pathogens. However, HHD mice are unsuitable for in vivo studies of cancer vaccines against human tumor-associated antigens because they lack T-cell tolerance that is key to define the potency of the treatment. In this study, we developed HHD/carcinoembryonic antigen P(CEA) hybrid mice by breeding transgenic mice homozygous for CEA with HHD. These mice express human CEA, present epitopes solely through HLA-A2.1 molecules and constitute a unique in vivo animal model to study HLA-A2.1-restricted immune response of a human CEA-based vaccine. Owing to the immune tolerance, HHD/CEA mice show a limited immune response and expansion of a different and restricted T-cell receptor repertoire after antigen-specific stimulation. Our data show that genetic vectors expressing CEA and peptide-based vaccines are able to efficiently break immune tolerance against CEA and to elicit strong immune response against HLA-A2.1-restricted CEA epitopes. Most importantly, efficient lysis of human CEA/HLA-A2.1 tumor cells was observed and significant protection against HHD/CEA tumor cells was achieved in HHD/CEA-vaccinated mice. Hence, HHD/CEA provides a relevant model for the evaluation of the potential efficacy of human CEA-based vaccines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)744-754
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Immunotherapy
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2009


  • Cancer vaccine
  • CEA
  • HLA-A2.1
  • Tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Cancer Research
  • Pharmacology


Dive into the research topics of 'A novel mouse model for evaluation and prediction of HLA-A2-restricted CEA cancer vaccine responses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this