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Clin Exp Metastasis. 2000;18(2):147-53.

Potentiation of antitumor effect of NKT cell ligand, alpha-galactosylceramide by combination with IL-12 on lung metastasis of malignant melanoma cells.

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Section of Genetic Engineering, Research Center for Genetic Engineering and Cell Transplantation, Tokai University School of Medicine, Isehara, Kanagawa, Japan.


The combined therapeutic effect of natural killer T (NKT) cell ligand alpha-galactosylceramide (alpha-GalCer) and IL-12 against highly metastatic B16-BL6-HM melanoma cells was investigated. In comparison with a single administration of alpha-GalCer or IL-12, the combined treatment of tumor-bearing mice with alpha-GalCer plus IL-12 caused a super-induction of serum IFN-gamma levels, though alpha-GalCer-induced IL-4 production was rather inhibited. In parallel with the augmented IFN-gamma production, the natural killing activity against YAC-1 cells and syngeneic B16-BL6-HM melanoma was greatly augmented by the combined therapy. The major effector cells responsible for natural killing activity induced by alpha-GalCer plus IL-12 were enriched in both NK1.1+ TCRalphabeta+ NKT cells and NK1.1+ TCRalphabeta- NK cells. The preventing effect of alpha-GalCer or IL-12 alone against lung metastasis of B16-BL6-HM was also enhanced by the combination therapy. The antitumor activity of alpha-GalCer was totally abolished in NKT-deficient mice. However, IL-12-induced antitumor activity was not eliminated in NKT-deficient mice though it was inhibited by anti-asialo GM1 Ab treatment. These findings suggested that alpha-GalCer synergistically act with IL-12 to activate both NKT cells and NK cells, which may play a critical role in the strong prevention of distant tumor metastasis at early stages of tumor-bearing. These data will provide a novel tool for the prevention of tumor metastasis using NKT-specific ligands alpha-GalCer and IL-12.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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