Engagement of the OX-40 receptor in vivo enhances antitumor immunity

Andrew D. Weinberg, Martin Muy Rivera, Rodney Prell, Arden Morris, Trygg Ramstad, John T. Vetto, Walter J. Urba, Gregory Alvord, Campbell Bunce, John Shields

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

341 Scopus citations


The OX-40 receptor (OX-40R), a member of the TNFR family, is primarily expressed on activated CD4+ T lymphocytes. Engagement of the OX-40R, with either OX-40 ligand (OX-40L) or an Ab agonist, delivers a strong costimulatory signal to effector T cells. OX-40R+ T cells isolated from inflammatory lesions in the CNS of animals with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis are the cells that respond to autoantigen (myelin basic protein) in vivo. We identified OX-40R+ T cells within primary tumors and tumor-invaded lymph nodes of patients with cancer and hypothesized that they are the tumor-Ag-specific T cells. Therefore, we investigated whether engagement of the OX-40R in vivo during tumor priming would enhance a tumor- specific T cell response. Injection of OX-40L:Ig or anti-OX-40R in vivo during tumor priming resulted in a significant improvement in the percentage of tumor-free survivors (20-55%) in four different murine tumors derived from four separate tissues. This anti-OX-40R effect was dose dependent and accentuated tumor-specific T cell memory. The data suggest that engagement of the OX-40R in vivo augments tumor-specific priming by stimulating/expanding the natural repertoire of the host's tumor-specific CD4+ T cells. The identification of OX-40R+ T cells clustered around human tumor cells in vivo suggests that engagement of the OX-40R may be a practical approach for expanding tumor-reactive T cells and thereby a method to improve tumor immunotherapy in patients with cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2160-2169
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 15 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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