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Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2000 Dec;49(10):563-72.

Regulation of CD40L expression on natural killer cells by interleukin-12 and interferon gamma: its role in the elicitation of an effective antitumor immune response.

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Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India.


Effector cell functions are regulated by a number of positive signals for the mediation of antitumor immunity. The CD40 and CD40 ligand (CD40L) interaction has been implicated in the generation of effective cell-mediated and humoral immune responses, where cytokines have been shown to play a significant role in the expression of these molecules. Our earlier studies have shown that spontaneous regression of a rat histiocytoma transplanted s.c. is mediated by CD8 + CD3- NK cells. The CD40-CD40L mediation during tumor regression was of interest. Tumor-transplanted animals showed enhanced expression of CD40L on natural killer (NK) and T cells, when compared to cells from normal animals. CD40 expression on AK-5 tumor cells was also induced after s.c. transplantation. Administration of anti-(interleukin-12) (anti-IL-12) and anti-(interferon gamma) (anti-IFNgamma) antibodies in tumor-bearing animals showed down-regulation of the expression of CD40L on NK and T cells with simultaneous inhibition of cytotoxic acitivity of NK cells, cytokine release and the production of antitumor antibody. Naive NK cells, when co-cultured with fixed AK-5 cells, were induced to express CD40L. CD40L expression modulated the immune response exerted by NK cells, in part by the activation of nuclear factor kB (NF-kB). Furthermore, the signaling via CD40L through the use of anti-CD40L antibody promoted the in vitro activation of cytotoxic as well as NF-kappaB binding activity in NK cells from tumor-transplanted animals. These observations demonstrate that the expression of CD40L by the effector cells is regulated by IL-12 and IFNgamma, and could effectively modulate the NK-cell-mediated immune response during the regression of AK-5 tumor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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