Key words Melanoma
Cytolytic T cell clones
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Melanoma is a cancer where the immune system is believed to play an important role in the control of malignant cell growth. To study the variability of the immune response in melanoma patients, we derived melanoma cell lines from several HLA-A2+ and HLA-A2- patients. The melanoma cell lines studied were designated FM3, FM6, FM9, FM28, FM37, FM45, FM55P, FM55M1 and FM55M2 and were established from eight metastatic tumors as well as from one primary tumor from a total of seven different patients. On the basis of the ability of tumor cells to induce specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) from peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) in mixed lymphocyte/tumor culture with HLA-A2+ melanoma cells, the FM3 cell line was characterized as highly immunogenic. To investigate the expression of different melanoma-associated antigens recognized by CTL on different melanoma cell lines, we selected the cell line FM3 for restimulation and further T cell cloning experiments. The lytic activity of CTL clones with good proliferative activity was examined using a panel of HLA-A2+ and HLA-A2- melanoma cell lines. None of the tested HLA-A2- melanoma cell lines were susceptible to lysis by the CTL clones, whereas allogeneic HLA-A2+ melanoma cell lines were lysed only by a few CTL clones. On the basis of their reactivity with different melanoma cell lines, it was possible to divide the present CTL clones into at least four groups suggesting the recognition of at least four different antigens. Three of these target structures probably are different from already-described HLA-A2-restricted melanoma-associated antigens, because their expression in the different melanoma cell lines do not correlate with the recognition of melanoma cells by these CTL. The results first indicate that poorly immunogenic melanoma cells may express melanoma-associated antigens, and also suggest that, by using CTL clones obtained against different HLA-class-I-matched melanoma cells, it is possible to define such antigens.
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