Section 41
Chapter 40,024

Enhanced expression of class i major histocompatibility complex gene (Dk) products on immunogenic variants of a spontaneous murine carcinoma

Carlow, D.A.; Kerbel, R.S.; Feltis, J.T.; Elliott, B.E.

Journal of the National Cancer Institute 75(2): 291-301


ISSN/ISBN: 0027-8874
PMID: 2410653
Accession: 040023061

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Both immunogenic and nonimmunogenic variant clones were isolated from a recently obtained spontaneous murine adenocarcinoma after treatment (xenogenization) with either the mutagen ethyl methanesulfonate or the DNA hypomethylating agent, and "gene activator," 5-azacytidine. Clonal analysis of the untreated tumor population confirmed that immunogenic variants arose as a consequence of the xenogenization protocol. At a dose of 10(6) cells per mouse, nonimmunogenic variants, like the parental tumor line, grew progressively in normal syngeneic recipients. In contrast, immunogenic variants were rejected in normal syngeneic mice and grew progressively only in T-cell-deficient nude mice. Serologic analysis of the respective clonal variants revealed that immunogenic variants expressed substantially elevated (fourfold to tenfold) levels of class I H-2Dk antigen relative to parental or nonimmunogenic cell lines. Two variants exhibiting marginal immunogenicity expressed high and low levels of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigen, respectively suggesting that elevated MHC expression, although possibly a contributing factor, did not account for the immunogenic phenotype in all cases. Finally, the immunogenic phenotype of two variants decayed with time in culture. Clones in the process of reversion lost their elevated Dk gene expression and became progressively more tumorigenic in normal syngeneic mice. Together, these data are consistent with a hypothesis that elevated MHC expression can contribute to the immunogenic phenotype of originally low MHC-expressing tumors and that the reduced level of MHC observed in certain clinical cancers may have significant implications with regard to immunologic aspects of the tumor-host relationship.

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