Oncotarget

Research Papers:

Oncolytic adenovirus coexpressing interleukin-12 and shVEGF restores antitumor immune function and enhances antitumor efficacy

Hyo Min Ahn _, Jin Woo Hong and Chae-Ok Yun

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:84965-84980. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.13087

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Abstract

Hyo Min Ahn1, JinWoo Hong1, Chae-Ok Yun1

1Department of Bioengineering, College of Engineering, Hanyang University, Seongdong-gu, 222 Wangsimni-ro 133-791, Seoul, Korea

Correspondence to:

Chae-Ok Yun, email: chaeok@hanyang.ac.kr

Keywords: cancer immunogene therapy, oncolytic adenovirus, interleukin-12, vascular endothelial growth factor, thymic atrophy

Received: April 05, 2016     Accepted: October 21, 2016     Published: November 04, 2016

ABSTRACT

Tumor microenvironment is extremely immunosuppressive, preventing efficient induction of antitumor immunity. To overcome tumor-mediated immunosuppression and enhance the potency of immunogene therapy, oncolytic adenovirus (Ad) co-expressing interleukin (IL)-12 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-specific short hairpin ribonucleic acid (shVEGF; RdB/IL12/shVEGF) was generated. Intratumoral injection of RdB/IL12/shVEGF induced a strong antitumor effect in an immune competent B16-F10 melanoma model. RdB/IL12/shVEGF restored immune surveillance function in tumor tissues and actively recruited immune cells by elevating the expression levels of IL-12 and interferon-γ. RdB/IL12/shVEGF efficiently suppressed expression of immunosuppressive VEGF, resulting in restoration of the antitumor immune response and prevention of thymic atrophy. In situ delivery of RdB/IL12/shVEGF to tumor tissues resulted in massive infiltration of differentiated CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells, natural killer cells, and dendritic cells to tissues surrounding the necrotic region of tumor. Furthermore, RdB/IL12/shVEGF induced a potent tumor-specific T helper type 1 immune response, implying that attenuation of the immunosuppressive environment mediated by downregulation of VEGF can significantly enhance immune stimulatory functions in the tumor milieu. Collectively, these findings indicate the potential of inducing and restoring potent antitumor immunity using intratumorally administered oncolytic Ad co-expressing IL-12 and shVEGF.


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