In Vivo Ligation of CD40 Enhances Priming Against the Endogenous Tumor Antigen and Promotes CD8+ T Cell Effector Function in SV40 T Antigen Transgenic Mice

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The ability to initiate and sustain CD8+ T cell responses to tumors in vivo is hindered by the development of peripheral T cell tolerance against tumor-associated Ags. Approaches that counter the onset of T cell tolerance may preserve a pool of potentially tumor-reactive CD8+ T cells. Administration of agonist Ab to the CD40 molecule, expressed on APCs, can enhance immunization approaches targeting T lymphocytes in an otherwise tolerance-prone environment. In this report, the effects of anti-CD40 administration on priming of naive CD8+ T cells against an endogenous tumor Ag were investigated. Line 501 mice express the SV40 large T Ag oncoprotein as a transgene from the α-amylase promoter, resulting in the development of peripheral CD8+ T cell tolerance to the H-2-Db-restricted immunodominant epitope I of T Ag by 6 mo of age, before the appearance of osteosarcomas. We demonstrate that naive epitope I-specific TCR transgenic (TCR-I) T cells undergo peripheral tolerance following adoptive transfer into 6-mo-old 501 mice. In contrast, administration of agonistic anti-CD40 Ab led to increased expansion of TCR-I T cells in 501 mice, the acquisition of effector function by TCR-I T cells and the establishment of T cell memory. Importantly, this enhanced priming effect of anti-CD40 administration did not require immunization and was effective even if administered after naive TCR-I T cells had encountered the endogenous T Ag. Thus, anti-CD40 administration can block the onset of peripheral tolerance and enhance the recruitment of functionally competent effector T cells toward an endogenous tumor Ag.


Staveley-O’Carroll, K., Schell, T. D., Jimenez, M., Mylin, L. M., Tevethia, M. J., Schoenberger, S. P., & Tevethia, S. S. (2003). In vivo ligation of cd40 enhances priming against the endogenous tumor antigen and promotes cd8 + t cell effector function in sv40 t antigen transgenic mice. The Journal of Immunology, 171(2), 697–707. https://doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.171.2.697

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