Exosomes from Plasmacytoma Cells as a Tumor Vaccine

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Exosomes are membrane-bound vesicles derived from multivesicular bodies that are externalized by cells through fusion with the plasma membrane. Exosomes have been implicated in cell-to-cell signaling, and those derived from immunologic cells may be involved in both direct and cross-presentation of antigens to T cells. The research presented here evaluated their efficacy as a prophylactic cancer vaccine in a mouse plasmacytoma model. Plasmacytoma cells were shown to release exosomes in vitro, and vaccination with a single dose (5 μg) of exosome protein protected 80% of mice against challenge with wild-type tumors. Protection could be linked to the immune system since vaccinated mice generated specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes, the effects were not seen in SCID mice, and immunity was tumor-specific. Several proteins involved in immunity, including two potential tumor antigens (P1A and intracisternal A particle protein) as well as Hsp70, were demonstrated to be present in exosomes. The authors conclude that exosomes can induce tumor-specific immunity and prevent tumor development and are a potential strategy for future therapeutic tumor vaccination.

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