Directed differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells towards T lymphocytes.
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Adoptive cell transfer (ACT) of antigen-specific CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) is a promising treatment for a variety of malignancies (1). CTLs can recognize malignant cells by interacting tumor antigens with the T cell receptors (TCR), and release cytotoxins as well as cytokines to kill malignant cells. It is known that less-differentiated and central-memory-like (termed highly reactive) CTLs are the optimal population for ACT-based immunotherapy, because these CTLs have a high proliferative potential, are less prone to apoptosis than more differentiated cells and have a higher ability to respond to homeostatic cytokines (2-7). However, due to difficulties in obtaining a high number of such CTLs from patients, there is an urgent need to find a new approach to generate highly reactive Ag-specific CTLs for successful ACT-based therapies. TCR transduction of the self-renewable stem cells for immune reconstitution has a therapeutic potential for the treatment of diseases (8-10). However, the approach to obtain embryonic stem cells (ESCs) from patients is not feasible. Although the use of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) for therapeutic purposes has been widely applied in clinic (11-13), HSCs have reduced differentiation and proliferative capacities, and HSCs are difficult to expand in in vitro cell culture (14-16). Recent iPS cell technology and the development of an in vitro system for gene delivery are capable of generating iPS cells from patients without any surgical approach. In addition, like ESCs, iPS cells possess indefinite proliferative capacity in vitro, and have been shown to differentiate into hematopoietic cells. Thus, iPS cells have greater potential to be used in ACT-based immunotherapy compared to ESCs or HSCs. Here, we present methods for the generation of T lymphocytes from iPS cells in vitro, and in vivo programming of antigen-specific CTLs from iPS cells for promoting cancer immune surveillance. Stimulation in vitro with a Notch ligand drives T cell differentiation from iPS cells, and TCR gene transduction results in iPS cells differentiating into antigen-specific T cells in vivo, which prevents tumor growth. Thus, we demonstrate antigen-specific T cell differentiation from iPS cells. Our studies provide a potentially more efficient approach for generating antigen-specific CTLs for ACT-based therapies and facilitate the development of therapeutic strategies for diseases.
author list (cited authors)
Lei, F., Haque, R., Xiong, X., & Song, J.