Comparison of common γ-chain cytokines, interleukin-2, interleukin-7, and interleukin-15 for the in vitro generation of human tumor-reactive T lymphocytes for adoptive cell transfer therapy

Shujuan Liu, John Riley, Steven Rosenberg, Maria Parkhurst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The adoptive transfer of human tumor-reactive T lymphocytes into autologous patients can mediate the regression of metastatic melanoma. Here, the in vitro generation of melanoma-reactive T lymphocytes was compared using 3 common γ-chain cytokines, interleukin (IL)-2, IL-7, and IL-15, alone or in combination. The proliferation, function, and phenotype were evaluated for tumor-reactive T cells derived from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from patients previously immunized with the melanoma-associated peptide gp100:209-217(210M) and PBMCs transduced with a retrovirus encoding the α and β chains of a gp100-reactive T-cell receptor (TCR). IL-7 alone did not induce significant proliferation of any tumor-reactive T-cell population, whereas IL-2 and IL-15 induced significant proliferation of tumor-reactive T lymphocytes from both sources. Cells cultured in the presence of IL-2 or IL-15 secreted comparable amounts of interferon-γ and IL-2 in response to melanoma cells in vitro and were phenotypically similar in terms of costimulatory molecules (CD27 and CD28), cytokine receptors (CD25, CD122, and CD127), and a lymphoid homing molecule (CD62L). In addition, the proliferation, function, and phenotype of T cells cultured with combinations of IL-2, IL-7, and IL-15 were similar to those grown with IL-2 alone. The effects of these cytokines on TCR stimulation of CD45RA naive cells derived from adult patients and from human umbilical cord blood were also compared. Similar to the data with activated tumor-reactive T lymphocytes, IL-7 alone did not support significant proliferation of naive T cells after TCR stimulation with anti-CD3, although IL-2 and IL-15 induced comparable proliferation of T lymphocytes with similar phenotypic attributes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-293
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunotherapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2006



  • Adoptive cell transfer
  • Immunotherapy
  • Melanoma
  • T-cell receptor
  • Tumorin-infiltrating lymphocytes
  • γ-chain cytokines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research

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