Co-expression of B7-1 and ICAM-1 on tumors is required for rejection and the establishment of a memory response

Federica Cavallo, Alfonso Martin-Fontecha, Matteo Bellone, Silvia Heltai, Evelina Gatti, Paola Tornaghi, Massimo Freschi, Guido Forni, Paolo Dellabona, Giulia Casorati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although the transfection of B7-1 cDNA into a few mouse tumor cell lines can induce anti-tumor T cell immunity, its expression alone is ineffective in many other tumor cell lines tested. We were interested to study what factors limit B7-1 co-stimulatory activity, and decided to investigate whether B7-1 requires the cooperation of ICAM-1 to provide the minimal co-stimulatory signal for establishing an efficient anti-tumor immunity. We show that the transfection of B7-1 cDNA into three ICAM-1+ (plasmocytoma J558L, T lymphomas EL-4 and RMA) but not into two ICAM-1- tumor cell lines (adenocarcinoma TS/A and melanoma B16.F1), is sufficient to induce their complete rejection in syngeneic mice. The expression of ICAM-1 is necessary for the rejection of the B7 expressing tumors, since the primary response elicited by B7-1+ EL-4 and RMA clones expressing reduced levels of ICAM-1 is severely reduced. Furthermore, super-transfection of ICAM-1 cDN A into B7-1+ adenocarcinoma and melanoma clones optimizes their primary rejection. Histologic examination of transfected tumors reveals that B7-1 and ICAM-1 exert a potent pro-inflammatory activity. The intra-tumor infiltration is composed of both eosinophils and lymphomonocytes and is already massive 5 days after the tumor challenge. The primary rejection of the B7-1+ ICAM-1+ tumors depends critically on CD8+ T cells, natural killer cells and granulocytes, but is independent of CD4+ T cells. Remarkably, in addition to its effects on the early phases of the immune response, the co-expression of ICAM-1 and B7-1 on tumors is also necessary for the efficient induction of a memory response. In fact, only the primary challenge with B7-1+, ICAM-1+ tumor cells protects the majority of the mice from a second injection ot parental tumor cells. Collectively, our findings indicate that B7-1 and ICAM-1 are fundamental components for triggering the primary rejection of tumors and establishing a protective memory response. These findings may help to define new strategies for the rational application of co-stimulation in tumor immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1154-1162
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1995


  • Co-stimulation
  • Immune response
  • Inflammation
  • Memory
  • Tumor rejection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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