OX40 ligand (OX40L), the ligand for OX40 on activated CD4+ T cells, has adjuvant properties for establishing effective T-cell immunity, a potent effector arm of the immune system against cancer. The hypothesis of this study is that in vivo genetic engineering of tumor cells to express OX40L will stimulate tumor-specific T cells by the OX40L-OX40 engagement, leading to an induction of systemic antitumor immunity. To investigate this hypothesis, s.c. established tumors of three different mouse cancer cells (B16 melanoma, H-2 b; Lewis lung carcinoma, H-2b; and Colon-26 colon adenocarcinoma, H-2d) were treated with intratumoral injection of a recombinant adenovirus vector expressing mouse OX40L (AdOX40L). In all tumor models tested, treatment of tumor-bearing mice with AdOX40L induced a significant suppression of tumor growth along with survival advantages in the treated mice. The in vivo AdOX40L modification of tumors evoked tumor-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes in the treated host correlated with in vivo priming of T helper 1 immune responses in a tumor-specific manner. Consistent with the finding, the antitumor effect provided by intratumoral injection of AdOX40L was completely abrogated in a CD4+ T cell-deficient or CD8+ T cell-deficient condition. In addition, ex vivo AdOX40L-transduced B16 cells also elicited B16-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses, and significantly suppressed the B16 tumor growth in the immunization-challenge experiment. All of these results support the concept that genetic modification of tumor cells with a recombinant OX40L adenovirus vector may be of benefit in cancer immunotherapy protocols.