T cell costimulation via OX40 is known increase CD4+ T cell expansion and effector function and enhances the development of T cell memory. OX40 costimulation can also prevent, and even reverse, CD4+ T cell anergy. However, the role of OX40 in CD8+ T cell function is less well defined, particularly in the setting of immune tolerance. To determine the effects of OX40 costimulation on the induction of the host CO8+ T cell repertoire to an endogenous tumor Ag, we examined the fate of CD8 + T cells specific for the immunodominant rat HER-2/neu epitope, RNEU420-429, in FVB MMTV-neu (neu-N) mice, which express rat HER-2/neu protein in a predominantly mammary-restricted fashion. We show that the RNEU420-429-specific T cell repertoire in neu-N mice expands transiently after vaccination with a neu-targeted GM-CSF-secreting whole-cell vaccine, but quickly declines to an undetectable level. However, OX40 costimulation, when combined with GM-CSF-secreting tumor-targeted vaccination, can break established CD8+ T cell tolerance in vivo by enhancing the expansion, and prolonging the survival and effector function of CO8+ T cells specific for RNEU420-429. Moreover, we demonstrate thai OX40 expression is up-regulated on both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells shortly after administration of a GM-CSF expressing vaccine. These studies highlight the increased efficacy of OX40 costimulation when combined with a GM-CSF-secreting vaccine, and define a new role for OX40 costimulation of CD8+ T cells in overcoming tolerance and boosting antitumor immunity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy