Assessing signaling pathway differences between high and low avidity CD8+ T-cells
Coregulatory molecules play an important role in modulating T cell activation during treatment with cancer vaccines. When tumor-bearing mice are treated with a tumor specific cancer vaccine and an immune modulating chemotheraputic agent, Her2/neu transgenic mice given an adoptive transfer of high avidity tumor-specific cells clear tumor at a much higher rate than mice given low avidity tumor-specific cells. My research project is to determine the differences in expression of coregulatory molecules between high avidity T cells and low avidity T cells and determine how this difference is affecting T cell activation. Knowing which coregulatory molecules are affecting tumor-specific T cell activation in our mouse model could lead to the discovery of drug targets that would increase T cell activation and make cancer vaccines more effective.