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Vesicular stomatitis virus modified with single chain IL-23 exhibits oncolytic activity against tumor cells in vitro and in vivo

Authors Miller JM, McNulty Bidula S, Jensen TM, Reiss CS

Published 21 May 2010 Volume 2010:2 Pages 63—72


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

James M Miller1, Sarah McNulty Bidula1,5, Troels Mygind Jensen1,6, Carol Shoshkes Reiss1,2,3,4

1Department of Biology, New York University, New York, NY, USA; 2Center for Neural Science, NYU; 3NYU Cancer Institute; 4Departments of Microbiology, NYU School of Medicine and Mt Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA; 5Present address Graduate Program, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA,USA 6Present address: Univercity of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Abstract: Viruses are potentially attractive agents for development as novel oncolytic agents. Reverse genetic approaches allow for the attenuation of candidate viruses and can enhance their ability to exploit inherent cellular and molecular properties of tumors, including deficiencies in interferon (IFN) signaling. Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) is a promising oncolytic agent for exactly these reasons. VSV infection of immunocompetent mice is usually rapidly cleared due to the virus’ sensitivity to type I IFN responses. However, in tumors that are unable to activate the IFN response, VSV is able to replicate without inhibition, resulting in cell destruction. Unfortunately, when VSV is introduced into mice intranasally or systemically via therapeutic doses into tumor-bearing rodents, hosts may develop fatal encephalitis. We have previously found that a recombinant VSV expressing the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-23 (IL-23) is significantly attenuated in the central nervous system (CNS). As a result of this, we hypothesized that attenuation in the CNS is partially a result of enhanced NO response as a result of IL-23 signaling. Infection of the CNS with this virus (designated VSV23) is characterized by decreased viral replication, morbidity, and mortality. We have now extended those studies which reveal that VSV23 maintains oncolytic capacity in vitro in multiple cell lines including NB41A3 neuroblastomas, L929 adipose-derived cells, immortalized BHK-21 cells, and the murine mammary derived JC cells. Additionally, in vivo VSV23 infection results in JC tumor destruction and induces enhanced memory responses against tumor cells.

Keywords: oncolysis, IL-23, vesicular stomatitis virus, tumor cells, oncolytic activity

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