However, apart from the IFN-α-related effect on CD69 up-regulatio

However, apart from the IFN-α-related effect on CD69 up-regulation, our study does not provide evidence that these activated NK T cells cross-react with and thereby activate antigen-presenting cells, conventional T cells and non-T cells, as we neither detected enhanced T or NK cell numbers, IL-12 expressing DC in situ nor enhanced IL-12, IL-7 or IL-15 plasma levels. Direct anti-tumour responsiveness by NK T cells in our two patients, as tested by IFN-γ responsiveness to tumours or tumour lysates, however, was not observed either. In vivo, this may be hampered by lack of CD1d expression on the tumours and lack of NK T cell infiltration into the tumour tissues.

Alternatively, NK T function may be influenced by Treg cells [36], AG-014699 mouse which are known to be elevated in cancer patients [37] and were found to be enriched, compared to normal individuals, in the peripheral blood

of the RCC patients, without any relationship to NK T frequency. To test whether NK T cell-mediated anti-tumour responsiveness might be induced in the absence of Treg cells, NK T cell lines were isolated from the cell populations, cultured in the presence of IL-2 and IL-15 and tested for anti-tumour reactivity. The cell line C1R-huCD1d, expressing human CD1d, was added to serve as antigen-presenting cell in this system. However, despite appropriate CD1d-ligand binding capacity and IFN-γ response to αGalCer by the isolated NK T cell lines, no consistent reactivity to tumours or tumour lysates was observed. Tumour lysates were Decitabine in vivo even found to suppress the αGalCer response of the B7 NK T cell line. These data point to an intrinsic inability of the patient NK T cells to respond to the autologous tumour, even in an activated state and in the absence of Treg cells. Our observation of highly elevated levels of NK T cells in these RCC patients during an extended period of time bears resemblance to the observations of Chan et al. [38] on a healthy individual at risk for type 1 diabetes, and contrasts with the

generally reduced NK T cell numbers in cancer patients [7,8,10,11]. In conclusion, selleckchem despite the elevated and sustained levels of NK T cells in these patients, any functional role of the NK T cells in these patients thus remains elusive at present and it will be of interest to elucidate whether RCC aetiology is linked with conditions that stimulate NK T cell expansion. We greatly acknowledge Drs S. Horenblas and W. Meinhardt for providing patients, Dr H. Ovaa for providing αGalCer, Dr V. Cerundolo for providing C1R and C1R-huCD1d cell lines, the NIH Tetramer Facility for providing PE-conjugated PBS57 loaded CD1d tetramer, A. Pfauth, F. van Diepen and M. van der Maas for help with flow cytometry and Drs J. Borst and J. Coquet for carefully reading the manuscript. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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