Journal Article
. 2016 Aug; 6:32351.
doi: 10.1038/srep32351.

Forced co-expression of IL-21 and IL-7 in whole-cell cancer vaccines promotes antitumor immunity

Yang-Zhuo Gu 1 Chuan-Wen Fan 2 Ran Lu 3 Bin Shao 1 Ya-Xiong Sang 1 Qiao-Rong Huang 3 Xue Li 3 Wen-Tong Meng 3 Xian-Ming Mo 3 Yu-Quan Wei 1 
  • PMID: 27571893
  •     43 References
  •     7 citations


Genetic modification of whole-cell cancer vaccines to augment their efficacies has a history of over two and a half decades. Various genes and gene combinations, targeting different aspects of immune responses have been tested in pursuit of potent adjuvant effects. Here we show that co-expression of two cytokine members of the common cytokine receptor γ-chain family, IL-21 and IL-7, in whole-cell cancer vaccines boosts antitumor immunity in a CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell-dependent fashion. It also generates effective immune memory. The vaccine-elicited short-term effects positively correlated with enhanced infiltration of CD4(+) and CD8(+) effector T cells, and the long-term effects positively correlated with enhanced infiltration of effector memory T cells, especially CD8(+) effector memory T cells. Preliminary data suggested that the vaccine exhibited good safety profile in murine models. Taken together, the combination of IL-21 and IL-7 possesses potent adjuvant efficacy in whole-cell vaccines. This finding warrants future development of IL-21 and IL-7 co-expressing whole-cell cancer vaccines and their relevant combinatorial regimens.

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