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Polarisation of a T helper cell immune response by CpG-containing oligonucleotides: A potential immunotherapy for bladder cancer
Lookup NU author(s)
Dr Helen Maitland
Dr Barry Davies
Professor John Kirby
Atkins H, Davies BR, Kirby JA, Kelly JD
British Journal of Cancer
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Intravesical bacillus Calmette–Guerin (BCG) is a treatment for transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) and carcinoma in situ (cis) of the urinary bladder, but some patients remain refractory. The mechanism of cancer clearance is not known, but T cells are thought to play a contributory role. Tissue dendritic cells (DCs) are known to initiate antigen-specific immune responses following activation of receptors, which recognise molecular patterns on the surface of microorganisms. A family of these receptors, the toll-like receptors (TLRs), are also crucial for activating DC to produce cytokines that polarise the T-cell response towards a T helper (Th)1 or Th2 phenotype. This study compared the potential of intact BCG to activate DC with that of the defined TLR4 ligand lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and the TLR9 ligand CpG-oligonucleotide. It was found that all three stimuli efficiently activated normal DC, but cells expressing a mutant TLR4 responded poorly to stimulation with LPS. Importantly, stimulation with BCG induced both IL-12 and IL-10, suggesting subsequent development of a poorly focused T-cell immune response containing both Th1 and Th2 immune function. By contrast, LPS- and CpG-oligonucleotides induced only IL-12, indicating the potential to produce a Th1 response, which is likely to clear cancer most efficiently. Given the toxicity of LPS, our data suggest that CpG-oligonucleotides may be beneficial for intravesical therapy of bladder cancer.
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