Faculty Research 1990 - 1999


Timely immunization subverts the development of peripheral nonresponsiveness and suppresses tumor development in simian virus 40 tumor antigen-transgenic mice.

Document Type


Publication Date



Animal, Antigens-Polyomavirus-Transforming: ge, Base-Sequence, Chimeric-Proteins: im, Cytotoxicity-Immunologic, DNA-Primers, Female, Gene-Expression, H-2-Antigens: ge, Immune-Tolerance, Insulin: ge, Insulinoma: im, pa, Male, Mice, Mice-Inbred-C57BL, Mice-Nude, Mice-Transgenic, Molecular-Sequence-Data, Neoplasms-Experimental: im, pa, Pancreatic-Neoplasms: im, pa, Polyomavirus-macacae: ge, RNA-Messenger: ge, SUPPORT-NON-U-S-GOVT, SUPPORT-U-S-GOVT-P-H-S, Time-Factors

JAX Source

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1994 Apr 26;91(9):3916-20


CA10815/CA/NCI, CA18470/CA/NCI


Tolerance to tumor cell-expressed molecules and selection of cells that evade immune surveillance during tumor progression create effective barriers to immunotherapy. We investigated the cytotoxic T-lymphocyte response to simian virus 40 (SV40) tumor (T/t) antigen in two lineages of transgenic mice bearing the same rat insulin promoter-SV40 T/t antigen (RIP Tag) hybrid gene. RIP1-Tag2 mice, which express Tag as embryos, are tolerant to Tag, whereas RIP1-Tag4 mice, which express the transgene in pancreatic islet beta cells several weeks after birth and develop insulinomas, can be immunized to generate active Tag-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes as determined by in vitro assays. Indeed, RIP1-Tag4 mice immunized with Tag by SV40 infection prior to the time of endogenous transgene expression also mount an effective in vivo cellular immune response to the Tag-expressing pancreatic beta cells, and Tag-induced tumor growth is significantly delayed (up to 1 year). However, after the transgene is expressed, RIP1-Tag4 mice are unable to mount a tumor-inhibiting response upon immunization, although Tag-specific cytotoxic T cells can still be demonstrated in vitro. Our data suggest that Tag-specific T cells are rendered unresponsive in vivo in RIP1-Tag4 mice and that the establishment of this unresponsiveness to Tag can be prevented by SV40 immunization only before the onset of the transgene expression. In the older, successfully immunized mouse, decreased immune surveillance and selection of cells with down-regulation of major histocompatibility complex class I expression most likely set the stage for insulinoma development.