[en] The aim of our study was to establish the relevance of an in vitro model for analysing the ability of human lymphocytes to infiltrate human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated (pre)neoplastic lesions of the uterine cervix. To mimic these lesions, we have used the organotypic raft culture of HPV-transformed keratinocytes (SiHa). The SiHa organotypic raft culture was co-cultured with resting or prestimulated (IL-2 or IL-2+anti-CD3 mAb) allogeneic peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) for 24 and 72 h. The majority of infiltrating cells were T lymphocytes. Occasional NK cells were also identified. The stimulation with IL-2+anti-CD3 mAb induced the highest number of infiltrating cells, with the maximum lymphocyte infiltration observed after 24 h of co-culture. The lymphocyte infiltration was associated with an increased number of apoptotic cells in the organotypic cultures. The ability of PBMC and purified T cell and NK cell populations to lyse HPV-transformed keratinocytes was also investigated on monolayer cultures. As expected in an allogenic model, the highest cytotoxicity was mediated by NK cells activated by IL-2 or IL-2+anti-CD3 mAb. The cytotoxic activity of T cells was weak but, interestingly, increased in the presence of phytohaemagglutinin A (PHA), assuming that T cells were able to kill HPV-infected keratinocytes when a bridge between T cells and keratinocytes was provided. In conclusion, the organotypic culture of HPV-transformed keratinocytes may provide an effective in vitro model for investigating novel T cell-based immunotherapy protocols for the treatment of HPV-associated lesions.
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS ; Centre de Recherche Interuniversitaire en Vaccinologie (région Wallonne et GSK) ; Centre anticancéreux près l′Université de Liège