Immune competence of cancer-reactive T cells generated de novo in adult tumor-bearing mice

Kenneth F. May, Kenneth Lute, Ergun Kocak, Shahab Abdessalam, Lijie Yin, Ou Li, Zhen Guan, Gary Philips, Pan Zheng, Yang Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The impact of timing of antigen introduction into fetus and neonates leads to the suggestion that pre-existing antigens are tolerogenic to immunocompetent cells generated thereafter. This hypothesis predicts that in patients with cancer who are undergoing bone marrow transplantation, newly produced T cells with specificity for pre-existing tumor cells will be inactivated by the tumor antigens in the host. Because the effect of tumor cells on developing cancer-reactive T cells has not been investigated, we set out to systematically analyze the impact of tumor cells in the periphery on the development of tumor-reactive T cells in the thymus and their immunocompetence in the periphery. Our data demonstrate that in the host in which a tumor is established in the periphery, the cancer-reactive T cells develop normally, remain fully immunocompetent, become activated in the periphery, and cause regression of large established tumors. The immunocompetence of T cells generated in an antigen-bearing host is also confirmed in a skin graft transplantation model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-258
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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