Transduction with human telomerase reverse transcriptase immortalizes a rhesus macaque CD8+ T cell clone with maintenance of surface marker phenotype and function

Hanne Andersen, Eugene V. Barsov, Matthew T. Trivett, Charles M. Trubey, Luis D. Giavedoni, Jeffrey D. Lifson, David E. Ott, Claes Öhlén

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    16 Scopus citations


    T cell lines and clones play a key role in basic studies of cellular immunology, and are also finding applications in adoptive immunotherapy. However, with proliferative expansion, T cells ultimately undergo cellular senescence and death, so that long-term culture of T cell clones is difficult to achieve. Expression of telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) in differentiated cells can maintain telomere length over many cell divisions, preventing senescence. We used a retroviral vector that expresses the human TERT (hTERT) gene to transduce a rhesus macaque-derived CD8+ T cell clone specific for the MamuA*01-restricted immunodominant SIV gag epitope CM9. Extensive in vitro characterization revealed that the untransduced parental cells and the hTERT-transduced cells displayed comparable proliferation capacity, effector memory surface marker profiles, cytolytic activities, and cytokine profiles following antigen stimulation. The hTERT-transduced cells showed improved survival compared to parallel nontransduced cultures during in vitro propagation in long-term culture. Such immortalised T cells may be useful as a source of consistent controls for in vitro assays of cellular immune function, and as a potentially important reagent for autologous adoptive cellular immunotherapy studies in macaques.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)456-465
    Number of pages10
    JournalAIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Mar 1 2007


    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Immunology
    • Virology
    • Infectious Diseases

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