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The ABCs of artificial antigen presentation


Artificial antigen presentation aims to accelerate the establishment of therapeutic cellular immunity. Artificial antigen-presenting cells (AAPCs) and their cell-free substitutes are designed to stimulate the expansion and acquisition of optimal therapeutic features of T cells before therapeutic infusion, without the need for autologous antigen-presenting cells. Compelling recent advances include fibroblast AAPCs that process antigens, magnetic beads that are antigen specific, novel T-cell costimulatory combinations, the augmentation of therapeutic potency of adoptively transferred T lymphocytes by interleukin-15, and the safe use of dendritic cell-derived exosomes pulsed with tumor antigen. Whereas the safety and potency of the various systems warrant further preclinical and clinical studies, these emerging technologies are poised to have a major impact on adoptive T-cell therapy and the investigation of T cell–mediated immunity.

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Figure 2: Representation of the T cell–APC interaction.

Bob Crimi

Figure 1: Examples of artificial antigen presentation.

Bob Crimi


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Our work is supported by National Institutes of Health grants CA-59350, CA-08748 and CA-09512 to J.V.K., I.R. and M.S.

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Correspondence to Michel Sadelain.

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Kim, J., Latouche, JB., Rivière, I. et al. The ABCs of artificial antigen presentation. Nat Biotechnol 22, 403–410 (2004).

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