Background: Bacterial DNA has immunostimulatory effects on different types of immune cells such as dendritic cells (DCs). Application of DCs as a cellular adjuvant represents a promising approach in the immunotherapy of infectious disease and cancers.
Objectives: To investigate the effect of tumor antigen pulsed DCs in the presence of CpG-1826 in treatment of a murine model of cancer.
Methods: WEHI-164 cells (Balb/c derived fibrosarcoma cell line) were injected subcutaneously in the right flank of mice. Bone marrow cells were cultured in the presence of GM-CSF and IL- 4. After 5 days, tumor lysate, CpG-1826, and oligodeoxynucleosides, as control, were added to the culture media and incubated for 2 days. Cytokine production in DCs culture media was measured by ELISA. Then DCs were injected subcutaneously around the tumor site in the right flank of mice. Tumor growth rate was monitored in case and control groups. Two weeks after DCs immunotherapy, cytotoxic assay was conducted using various amounts of effector (splenic T cells) and target cells (WEHI-164 or CT26) for 6 h.
Results: Immunotherapy with DCs treated with CpG led to a significant increase in the activity of cytotoxic T cells and decreased tumor growth in immunized mice. In the control group which received DCs without CpG treatment, no change in cytotoxic activity and tumor growth rate was detected.
Conclusion: The current study suggests that specific anti tumor immune responses can be induced by DCs matured with CpG and proposes CpG usage in DCs targeted clinical strategies.