Background Bispecific T cell engagers (BiTE) is a fast-growing class of immunotherapies. They are bispecific antibody that bind to T cell-surface protein (for example, CD3e) and a specific tumor associate antigen (TAA) on tumor cells, by which to redirect T cells against tumor cells in a MHC-independent manner. A successful example in the clinical is Blinatumomab, a BiTE antibody against CD3/CD19 approved in 2014 to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Currently, many CD3-based BiTE are in clinical trials, including BCMAxCD3, Her2xCD3, CEAxCD3, and PSMAxCD3. To evaluate the efficacy of BiTE in vitro, human peripheral blood monocyte cells (hPBMC) are commonly being used as a source of T cells to co-culture with tumor cells. The disadvantage of using hPBMC is donor-to-donor variability and the availability of the original donor if a study needs to be repeated.
Methods To overcome this, we proposed to replace hPBMC with T cells from human CD3e (hCD3) genetically engineered mouse models mice (GEMM) for in in vitro coculture assay. T cells were isolated from hCD3 GEMM mice using negative selection mouse T cell isolation kit. Conventional tumor cell lines or luciferase-engineered patient-derived-xenograft (PDX)-derived organoids (PDXO) expressing specific antigens are co-cultured with hCD3 T cells in 96-well plates in the presence of BiTE antibody.
Results We measured the killing of tumor cells using either flow cytometry or luciferase activity as readouts. To analyze tumor-reactivity of T cells to cancer cell line or organoids, IFN-gamma in the culture medium was measured and activation markers on T cells was assessed.
Conclusions Our data showed the feasibility of using humanized mice T cells as a replacement for hPBMCs to assess BiTE antibody in vitro. We are further validating the application of murine hCD3 T cells for in vivo models to test bispecific T cell engagers.
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