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Anticancer Res. 2013 May;33(5):1809-18.

Premalignant lesions skew spleen cell responses to immune modulation by adipocytes.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA.


Obesity can promote a chronic inflammatory state and is associated with an increased risk for cancer. Since adipocytes can produce mediators that can regulate conventional immune cells, this study sought to determine if the presence of premalignant oral lesions would skew how immune cells respond to adipocyte-derived mediators to create an environment that may be more favorable for their progression toward cancer. While media conditioned by adipocytes stimulated normal spleen cell production of the T helper (Th) type-1 cytokines interleukin (IL)-2, interferon-γ (IFN-γ), IL-12 and granulocyte-monocyte colony-stimulating factor (GM CSF), media from premalignant lesion cells either blocked or had no added affect on the adipocyte-stimulated Th1 cytokine production. In contrast, media conditioned by premalignant lesion cells exacerbated adipocyte-stimulated spleen cell production of the Th2 cytokines IL-10 and IL-13, although it did not further enhance the adipocyte-stimulated spleen cell production of IL-4 and TGF-β. The premalignant lesion environment also heightened the adipocyte-stimulated spleen cell production of the inflammatory mediators IL 1α, IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-9, although it did not further increase the adipocyte-stimulated production of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). IL 17 production was unaffected by the adipocyte-derived mediators, but was synergistically triggered by adding media from premalignant lesion cells. These stimulatory effects on spleen cell production of Th2 and inflammatory mediators were not induced in the absence of media conditioned by adipocytes. In contrast, media conditioned by adipocytes did not stimulate production of predominantly monocyte-derived chemokine C-X-C motif ligand (CXCL)9, chemokine C-C motif ligand (CCL)3 or CCL4, although it stimulated production of CCL2 and the predominantly T cell-derived chemokine CCL5, which was the only chemokine whose production was further increased by media from premalignant lesions. These results suggest that the responsiveness of spleen cells to adipocyte-derived mediators is influenced by mediators from premalignant lesion cells to favor conventional immune cell production of a Th2 and inflammatory cytokines.


Adipocytes; cytokines; immune regulation; inflammation; premalignant lesion cells

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