Author(s): Cho JA, Lee YS, Kim SH, Ko JK, Kim CW
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Abstract The ideal cancer vaccine should work regardless of MHC types but currently the barrier generated by MHC specificity hampers the development of human cancer vaccines, requesting to identify strong immunogenic molecules that can induce anti-cancer immune responses without being affected by MHC polymorphism. Tumor-derived exosomes are small membrane vesicles containing tumor antigens as well as other immunologically important molecules such as MHC molecules and heat shock proteins (HSPs). Because of their potential immunogenicity, the plausible utility of tumor-derived exosomes as an MHC independent cancer vaccine was proposed. Here, we investigated whether Hsp70-enriched tumor exosomes can induce stronger immunogenicity as compared to normal tumor-derived exosomes in autologous as well as allogeneic murine models in vitro and in vivo. Western blotting showed that the exosomes of heat-treated tumor cells (HS Exo) contained higher amounts of Hsp70 than the exosomes of untreated cells (CNTL Exo). In both MHC type-identical and -irrelevant antigen-presenting cell models in vitro, HS Exo triggered the increased expressions of MHC class II molecules. Crucially, HS Exo performed greater therapeutic capability in regressing pre-established MHC type-identical and -irrelevant tumors than CNTL Exo in vivo. The analyses of anti-tumor function in allogeneic mouse model demonstrated that HS Exo elicited Th1-polarized immune responses defined by the increased productions of IgG2a and IFN-gamma. In summary, the Hsp70-enriched exosomes extracted from heat-treated tumors induced strong Th1 immune responses, resulting in eliminating cancer cells in allogeneic hosts in vivo. These results indicate that HS Exo is a potent MHC independent cell-free cancer therapeutic agent that can be developed for clinical trials.
This article was published in Cancer Lett
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology