Generation and characterization of antigenic variants induced by exposure of tumor cells to UV radiation in vitro

Lisa Lynette Wiebe Hostetler, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Antigenic changes present in nonantigenic tumor cells exposed to UV radiation (UV) in vitro were investigated by addressing the following questions: (1) Are antigenic variants (AV) produced that are rejected in normal but not immunosuppressed mice? (2) Does generation of AV depend upon intrinsic properties of the cells exposed or result from the action of UV? (3) Is antigenic modification induced by UV due to increased histocompatibility antigen expression? (4) Do AV crossreact immunologically with parental tumor or with other AV? and (5) Is the UV-associated common antigen expressed on UV-induced tumors present on UV-irradiated tumor cells? AV were generated at different frequencies following in vitro UV irradiation of a spontaneous murine fibrosarcoma (51% of cell lines tested), a murine melanoma (56%), and two melanoma clones (100% and 11%). This indicated that the percentage of AV produced is an intrinsic property of the cell line exposed. The increased antigenicity did not correlate with an increased expression of class I histocompatibility antigens. Immunological experiments demonstrated that the AV and parental cells shared a determinant that was susceptible to immune recognition, but incapable of inducing immunity. In contrast, the AV were noncrossreactive, suggesting that variant-specific antigens were also expressed. Finally, the AV were recognized by UV-induced suppressor cells, indicating that the UV-associated common antigen expressed by UV-induced tumors was also present. This investigation provides new information on the susceptibility of tumors to antigenic modification by UV and on the relationship between tumor antigens and neoplastic transformation. Furthermore, it suggests an immunological approach for cancer therapy.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Hostetler, Lisa Lynette Wiebe, "Generation and characterization of antigenic variants induced by exposure of tumor cells to UV radiation in vitro" (1988). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI8826291.