Recent clinical studies indicate that adoptive T-cell therapy and especially chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is a very potent and potentially curative treatment for B-lineage hematologic malignancies. Currently, autologous peripheral blood T cells are used for adoptive T-cell therapy. Adoptive T cells derived from healthy allogeneic donors may have several advantages; however, the expected occurrence of graft versus host disease (GvHD) as a consequence of the diverse allogeneic T-cell receptor (TCR) repertoire expressed by these cells compromises this approach. Here, we generated T cells from cord blood hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) that were transduced to express an antigen receptor (AR): either a CAR or a TCR with or without built-in CD28 co-stimulatory domains. These AR-transgenic HPCs were culture-expanded on an OP9-DL1 feeder layer and subsequently differentiated to CD5+CD7+ T-lineage precursors, to CD4+ CD8+ double positive cells and finally to mature AR+ T cells. The AR+ T cells were largely naive CD45RA+CD62L+ T cells. These T cells had mostly germline TCRα and TCRβ loci and therefore lacked surface-expressed CD3/TCRαβ complexes. The CD3− AR-transgenic cells were mono-specific, functional T cells as they displayed specific cytotoxic activity. Cytokine production, including IL-2, was prominent in those cells bearing ARs with built-in CD28 domains. Data sustain the concept that cord blood HPC derived, in vitro generated allogeneic CD3− AR+ T cells can be used to more effectively eliminate malignant cells, while at the same time limiting the occurrence of GvHD.

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van Caeneghem, Y., De Munter, S. (Stijn), Tieppo, P. (Paola), Goetgeluk, G., Weening, K. (Karin), Verstichel, G., … Vandekerckhove, B. (Bart). (2017). Antigen receptor-redirected T cells derived from hematopoietic precursor cells lack expression of the endogenous TCR/CD3 receptor and exhibit specific antitumor capacities. OncoImmunology, 6(3). doi:10.1080/2162402X.2017.1283460