Scientific publications

Antitumor effect of allogenic fibroblasts engineered to express Fas ligand (FasL)

Drozdzik M, Qian C, Lasarte JJ, Bilbao R, Prieto J.
Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.

Magazine: Gene Therapy

Date: Dec 1, 1998

Internal Medicine [SP]

Fas ligand is a type II transmembrane protein which can induce apoptosis in Fas-expressing cells. Recent reports indicate that expression of FasL in transplanted cells may cause graft rejection and, on the other hand, tumor cells may lose their tumorigenicity when they are engineered to express FasL.

These effects could be related to recruitment of neutrophils by FasL with activation of their cytotoxic machinery. In this study we investigated the antitumor effect of allogenic fibroblasts engineered to express FasL.

Fibroblasts engineered to express FasL (PA317/FasL) did not exert toxic effects on transformed liver cell line (BNL) or colon cancer cell line (CT26) in vitro, but they could abrogate their tumorigenicity in vivo. Histological examination of the site of implantation of BNL cells mixed with PA317/FasL revealed massive infiltration of polymorphonuclear neutrophils and mononuclear cells. A specific immune protective effect was observed in animals primed with a mixture of BNL or CT26 and PA317/FasL cells. Rechallenge with tumor cells 14 or 100 days after priming resulted in protection of 100 or 50% of animals, respectively.

This protective effect was due to CD8+ cells since depletion of CD8+ led to tumor formation. In addition, treatment of pre-established BNL tumors with a subcutaneous injection of BNL and PA317/FasL cell mixture at a distant site caused significant inhibition of tumor growth.

These data demonstrate that allogenic cells engineered with FasL are able to abolish tumor growth and induce specific protective immunity when they are mixed with neoplastic cells.

CITATION  Gene Ther. 1998 Dec;5(12):1622-30



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