Phenotype and homing of CD4 tumor-specific T cells is modulated by tumor bulk

Fabio Benigni, Valérie S. Zimmermann, Stephanie Hugues, Stefano Caserta, Veronica Basso, Laura Rivino, Elizabeth Ingulli, Laurent Malherbe, Nicolas Glaichenhaus, Anna Mondino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Technical difficulties in tracking endogenous CD4 T lymphocytes have limited the characterization of tumor-specific CD4 T cell responses. Using fluorescent MHC class II/peptide multimers, we defined the fate of endogenous Leishmania receptor for activated C kinase (LACK)-specific CD4 T cells in mice bearing LACK-expressing TS/A tumors. LACK-specific CD44highCD62L low CD4 T cells accumulated in the draining lymph nodes and had characteristics of effector cells, secreting IL-2 and IFN-γ upon Ag restimulation. Increased frequencies of CD44highCD62Llow LACK-experienced cells were also detected in the spleen, lung, liver, and tumor itself, but not in nondraining lymph nodes, where the cells maintained a naive phenotype. The absence of systemic redistribution of LACK-specific memory T cells correlated with the presence of tumor. Indeed, LACK-specific CD4 T cells with central memory features (IL-2+IFN-γ-CD44 highCD62Lhigh cells) accumulated in all peripheral lymph nodes of mice immunized with LACK-pulsed dendritic cells and after tumor resection. Together, our data demonstrate that although tumor-specific CD4 effector T cells producing IFN-γ are continuously generated in the presence of tumor, central memory CD4 T cells accumulate only after tumor resection. Thus, the continuous stimulation of tumor-specific CD4 T cells in tumor-bearing mice appears to hinder the systemic accumulation of central memory CD4 T lymphocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)739-748
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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