Augments Rapamycin in Expansion of Alpha Fetoprotein Antigen specific stem cell like memory T cells in Vitro
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Alloreactive tumor specific T cells are important arsenals of the adaptive immune system in the fight against tumors. However, stem cell-like memory T cells (Tscm) provide the key to effective elimination of tumor cells. Methods for generating these T cell subsets already exist. However, they could be made more efficient. Further, they are expensive and unattainable to the resource poor laboratories. In this regard, we are hereby describing a novel in vitro allogeneic co-culture method for raising allo-restricted tumor specific Tscm cells that we developed. Methods: We started by obtaining PBLs that screened negative for HLA-A2 molecules from healthy donors followed by co-culture with T2/AFP cells to generate AFP peptide specific tumor-reactive T cells. Controls, IL-21 and/or rapamycin were applied to samples in 24 well plates. Samples were harvested and stained with anti-human CD3, CD8, CD44, CD62L, and HLA-A2/AFP dimer followed by flow cytometry analysis. Cell viability was measured by Trypan blue exclusion assay. One Way ANOVA and independent t test were used to compare the mean differences among and between groups where P values less than 0.05 were considered significant. Results: Our results show that rapamycin arrests the differentiation of, and expands AFP specific Tscm cells. Further, the expansion of Tscm cells is augmented in the presence of IL-21. Conclusion: IL-21 and Rapamycin can be used concurrently to raise and maintain antigen specific Tscm cells in vitro for purposes of augmenting immunotherapy strategies against cancers.