The use of tumor cells as vaccines in cancer immunotherapy is critically dependent on their capacity to initiate and amplify tumor-specific immunity. Optimal responses may require the modification of the tumor cells not only to increase their immunogenicity but also to improve their ability to recruit effector cells to the tumor sites or sites of tumor antigen exposure. It has been reported that CD40 crosslinking of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells significantly increases their immunogenicity and allows the generation and expansion of autologous antileukemia cytotoxic T lymphocytes. This study demonstrates that the CD40 ligation of these tumor cells also induces the secretion of the CC-chemokines MDC and TARC. Supernatants from malignant cells cultured in the presence of sCD40L promote the migration of activated T cells that express CCR4, the common specific receptor for MDC and TARC. More importantly, the supernatants from CD40-stimulated tumor cells also support the transendothelial migration of autologous CCR4+ antileukemia T cells. Therefore, the results demonstrate that the delivery to leukemia cells of a single physiologic signal, that is, CD40 cross-linking, simultaneously improves tumor cell immunogenicity and induces potent chemoattraction for T cells.
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