The central tumoricidal activity of anticancer monoclonal antibodies (mAb) is exerted by FcγR IIIa (CD16)-expressing effector cells in vivo via antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), as observed for natural killer (NK) cells. In practice, chemotherapy-induced leukopenia and exhaustion of NK cells resulting from ADCC often hamper the clinical efficacy of cancer treatment. To circumvent this drawback, we examined in vivo the feasibility of T cells gene-modified to express a newly generated affinity-matured (158V/V) chimeric CD16-CD3ζ receptor (cCD16ζ-T cells) as a transferable alternative effector for cancer mAb therapy. cCD16ζ-T cells were readily expandable in ex vivo culture using anti-CD2/CD3/CD28 beads and recombinant human interleukin-2 (rhIL-2), and they successfully displayed ADCC-mediated tumoricidal activity in vitro. During ADCC, ligation of opsonized cancer cells to the introduced cCD16ζ-T cells stimulated the effector cells to produce proinflammatory cytokines and release toxic granules through the activation of the NFAT pathway after phosphorylation of the CD3ζ chain. In parallel, these stimulated cCD16ζ-T cells transiently proliferated and differentiated into effector memory T cells. In contrast, NK cells activated by rhIL-2 displayed similar ADCC activity, but failed to proliferate. Human cCD16ζ-T cells infused concomitantly with anti-CD20 mAb synergistically inhibited the growth of disseminated Raji cells, a CD20+ lymphoma cell line, in immunodeficient mice, whereas similarly infused rhIL-2-treated NK cells survived for a shorter time and displayed less effective tumor suppression. Our findings strongly suggest the clinical feasibility of cCD16ζ-T cells as adoptively transferable ADCC effector cells that could potentially enhance the clinical responses mediated by currently available anticancer mAbs.
- Received July 18, 2013.
- Revision received November 13, 2013.
- Accepted November 27, 2013.
- Copyright © 2013, American Association for Cancer Research.