A role for multiple chimeric antigen receptor-expressing leukocytes in antigen-specific responses to cancer

Carmen S M Yong, Liza B John, Christel Devaud, Miles H. Prince, Ricky W Johnstone, Joseph A. Trapani, Phillip K. Darcy, Michael H. Kershaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


While adoptive immunotherapy using chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-modified T cells can induce remission of some tumors, the role of other CAR-modified leukocytes is not well characterized. In this study, we characterize the function of leukocytes including natural killer (NK) cells, macrophages and CAR T cells from transgenic mice expressing a CAR under the control of the pan-hematopoietic promoter, vav, and determine the ability of these mice to respond to ERB expressing tumors. We demonstrate the anti-tumor functions of leukocytes, including antigen specific cytotoxicity and cytokine secretion. The adoptive transfer of CAR T cells provided a greater survival advantage in the E0771ERB tumor model than their wildtype (WT) counterparts. In addition, CAR NK cells and CAR T cells also mediated increased survival in the RMAERB tumor model. When challenged with Her2 expressing tumors, F38 mice were shown to mount an effective immune response, resulting in tumor rejection and long-term survival. This was shown to be predominantly dependent on both CD8+ T cells and NK cells. However, macrophages and CD4+ T cells were also shown to contribute to this response. Overall, this study highlights the use of the vav-CAR mouse model as a unique tool to determine the anti-tumor function of various immune subsets, either alone or when acting alongside CAR T cells in adoptive immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34582-34598
Number of pages17
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2016


  • Chimeric antigen receptor
  • Macrophages
  • NK cells
  • T cells
  • Transgenic mouse

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