The Roles of Macrophages and Nitric Oxide in Interleukin-3-Enhanced HSV-Sr39tk-Mediated Prodrug Therapy

Yu, Ching-Fang; Hong, Ji-Hong; Chiang, Chi-Shiun
February 2013
PLoS ONE;Feb2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1
Academic Journal
The herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase/ganciclovir (HSV-sr39tk/GCV) system is a well-established prodrug system used in cancer gene therapy. However, this system is currently not effective enough to eradicate malignant tumors completely. This study aimed to evaluate whether co-expression of interleukin-3 (IL-3) could enhance the anti-tumor activity of HSV-sr39tk/GCV prodrug gene therapy using a murine TRAMP-C1 prostate tumor model. In vitro results demonstrated that HSV-sr39tk-transfected cells exhibited enhanced sensitivity to the GCV prodrug, which was not affected by co-expression of the mIL-3 gene. However, in vivo studies showed that co-expression of the mIL-3 gene significantly increased the HSV-sr39tk/GCV-induced tumor growth delay and even cured the tumor. The TRAMP-C1-specific immune response of spleen lymphocytes from mice bearing HSV-sr39tk- and IL-3-expressing TRAMP-C1 tumors was measured by ELISA. Results showed that IL-3-activated IL-4-dominant lymphocytes became IFN-γ- dominant lymphocytes after combined HSV-sr39tk/GCV therapy. The efficacy of combined therapies on tumor regression was reduced when macrophages populations were depleted by carrageenan or NO production was inhibited by administration of the iNOS inhibitor, L-NAME. These results suggest that utilizing a bicistronic vector to express HSV-sr39tk and the IL-3 gene induced an enhanced macrophage- or NO-dependent anti-tumor effect.


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