MHC class I-mediated cross-priming of CD8 T cells by APCs is critical for CTL-based immunity to viral infections and tumors. We have shown previously that tumor-secreted heat shock protein gp96-chaperoned peptides cross prime CD8 CTL that are specific for genuine tumor Ags and for the surrogate Ag OVA. We now show that tumor-secreted heat shock protein gp96-chaperoned peptides enhance the efficiency of Ag cross-priming of CD8 CTL by several million-fold over the cross-priming activity of unchaperoned protein alone. Gp96 also acts as adjuvant for cross-priming by unchaperoned proteins, but in this capacity gp96 is 1000-fold less active than as a peptide chaperone. Mechanistically, the in situ secretion of gp96-Ig by transfected tumor cells recruits and activates dendritic cells and NK cells to the site of gp96 release and promotes CD8 CTL expansion locally. Gp96-mediated cross-priming of CD8 T cells requires B7.1/2 costimulation but proceeds unimpeded in lymph node-deficient mice, in the absence of NKT and CD4 cells and without CD40L. Gp96-driven MHC I cross-priming of CD8 CTL in the absence of lymph nodes provides a novel mechanism for local, tissue-based CTL generation at the site of gp96 release. This pathway may constitute a critically important, early detection, and rapid response mechanism that is operative in parenchymal tissues for effective defense against tissue damaging antigenic agents.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy