Ex vivo generated dendritic cells (DC) genetically modified to express secondary lymphoid tissue chemokine (CCL-21/SLC) have been shown to stimulate potent antitumor responses in murine models. When injected intratumorally, CCL-21 colocalizes DC and lymphocyte effector cells at the tumor site. This may improve tumor antigen presentation and T cell activation by utilizing the tumor as an in vivo source of antigen for DC. In order to develop DC-based cancer therapies for intratumoral injection that could promote tumor antigen uptake and presentation in situ, we constructed and characterized an adenoviral vector that expresses human CCL-21 (AdCCL-21).
Human monocyte derived DC were cultured in GM-CSF and IL-4 for 6 days. Following AdCCL-21 transduction, CCL-21 protein production was assessed by ELISA on day 8. DC transduced with AdCCL-21 at multiplicities of infection (MOIs) of 50:1 or 100:1 produced up to 210 ± 9 ng/ml and 278 ± 6.5 ng/ml /10 6 cells/48 hours, respectively. Following transduction, an immature DC phenotype was maintained and an upregulation of the costimulatory molecule, CD86 was noted. In addition, supernatant from AdCCL-21-DC caused significant chemotaxis of peripheral blood lymphocytes and mature DC.