Enhancement of therapeutic DNA vaccine potency by melatonin through inhibiting VEGF expression and induction of antitumor immunity mediated by CD8+ T cells

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Published on Friday, 23 March 2018

Abstract

To be effective, therapeutic cancer vaccines should stimulate both an effective cell-mediated and a robust cytotoxic CD8+ T-cell response against human papillomavirus (HPV)-infected cells to treat the pre-existing tumors and prevent potential future tumors.

In this study, the therapeutic experiments were designed in order to evaluate antitumor effect against the syngeneic TC-1 tumor model.

The anti-tumor efficacy of a HPV-16 E7 DNA vaccine adjuvanted with melatonin (MLT) was evaluated in a C57BL/6 mouse tumor model by measuring tumor growth post vaccination and the survival rate of tumor-bearing mice, analyzing the specific lymphocyte proliferation responses in control and vaccinated mice by MTT assay.

The E7-specific cytotoxic T cells (CTL) were analyzed by lymphocyte proliferation and lactate dehydrogenates (LDH) release assays. IFN-γ, IL-4 and TNF-α secretion in splenocyte cultures as well as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and IL-10 in the tumor microenvironment were assayed by ELISA.

Our results demonstrated that subcutaneous administration of C57BL/6 mice with a DNA vaccine adjuvanted with MLT dose-dependently and significantly induced strong HPV16 E7-specific CD8+ cytotoxicity and IFN-γ and TNF-α responses capable of reducing HPV-16 E7-expressing tumor volume.

A significantly higher level of E7-specific T-cell proliferation was also found in the adjuvanted vaccine group.

Furthermore, tumor growth was significantly inhibited when the DNA vaccine was combined with MLT and the survival time of TC-1 tumor bearing mice was also significantly prolonged.

In vivo studies further demonstrated that MLT decreased the accumulation of IL-10 and VEGF in the tumor microenvironment of vaccinated mice.

These data indicate that melatonin as an adjuvant augmented the cancer vaccine efficiency against HPV-associated tumors in a dose dependent manner.

 

NOTE: This publication cites (Ref. N.12): Di Bella G., Mascia F., Gualano L., Di Bella L. - Melatonin anticancer effect: review. Int J Mol Sci. 2013;14:2410–2430.

 

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- Large B-cells Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Stage IV-AE: a Case Report;

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- Complete objective response to biological therapy of plurifocal breast carcinoma.