This study investigated the therapeutic effects of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GMCSF) on a mouse leukemia model. By using a retroviral vector, mouse GM-CSF cDNA was transduced into a highly tumorigenic T leukemia cell line, RL♂ 1. Injection of GM-CSF-secreting RL♂ 1 cells into syngeneic BALB/c mice elicited protective immunity in the animals, which could regress preestablished tumors introduced either by a subcutaneous or in an intravenous route. However, the therapeutic effects were less prominent in the mice inoculated with a large tumor load or in mice treated later. Winn tests further demonstrated that the splenocytes from the late-treated group conferred poorer protective effects in terms of reducing the growth of parental RL♂ 1 cells in naive mice than the splenocytes from the early-treated group. Nonetheless, upon stimulation in vitro, the activity of tumor-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) was comparable in the splenocytes of both groups of mice. Histological analysis also indicated that the CD8+ T cells appeared as early as 3 days following vaccination at the vaccine sites and at the tumor sites in both groups of mice. Above observations implied that the T cells in the animals bearing large tumors appeared to be in a state of suppression or anergy. Systematic histological analyses for 2 weeks provided further insight into various infiltrates at the vaccine sites and at the tumor sites in response to the inoculation of GM-CSF-secreting tumor vaccine.
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