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J Immunol. 2005 Oct 15;175(8):5541-50.

Inhibition of NK cell activity through TGF-beta 1 by down-regulation of NKG2D in a murine model of head and neck cancer.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine and the Barrett Cancer Center, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45267, USA.

Abstract

In an orthotopic murine model of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (SCC VII/SF) we studied NK cell-mediated immunity following vaccination with a recombinant vaccinia virus expressing IL-2 (rvv-IL-2). SCC VII/SF tumor cells were injected into the oral cavity of C3H/HeJ mice on day 0. Mice were vaccinated on days 7, 10, and 14 with rvv-IL-2 and control vaccines. Phenotypes, numbers, and biological activities of NK cells were determined following vaccination. Levels of expression of NK-activating receptor NKG2D and CD16 on NK cell surface were assayed in the vaccinated mice. Expression of NKG2D ligands, Rae1, and H60 on SCC VII/SF cells was also examined. Vaccination with rvv-IL-2 resulted in expansion of NK cells. NK cells isolated from rvv-IL-2-vaccinated mice had significantly higher biological activities compared with mice treated with control vaccines. NK cells from tumor-bearing mice expressed significantly lower levels of NKG2D and CD16 compared with rvv-IL-2 vaccinated mice. SCC VII/SF tumors expressed NKG2D ligand Rae 1, although H60 was not present. SCC VII/SF tumors expressed high levels of TGF-beta1, which were down-modulated by vaccination with rvv-IL-2. Incubation of NK cells with tumor homogenate or cultured supernatant of SCC VII/SF cells reduced the expression of NKG2D and CD16. This inhibition appeared to be mediated by TGF-beta1. SCC VII/SF tumors in the oral cavity of the mice secrete high quantities of TGF-beta1, which reduce the expression of NK cell receptor NKG2D as well as CD16 and inhibits biological functions of NK cells.

PMID:
16210663
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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