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J Neuroimmunol. 2003 Dec;145(1-2):55-67.

Lung cancer-derived bombesin-like peptides down-regulate the generation and function of human dendritic cells.

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Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


Development of tumors is regulated by tumor-derived neuroendocrine factors, including bombesin-like peptides (BLP). We have evaluated neuroendocrine regulation of dendritic cell (DC) maturation and function by both tumor-derived and purified bombesin (BOM), neuromedin B (NMB), gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP), and a BOM antagonist D-Phe-bombesin (DPB). BOM, NMB and GRP dose-dependently inhibited maturation of DC assessed as down-regulation of CD40, CD80 and CD86 expression on DC. BOM and GRP also inhibited interleukin-12 (IL-12) production by DC and their ability to activate T cells. DPB partly abrogated immunosuppressive effect of tumor cells on DC. These data are a first evidence for the role of BLP in the regulation of DC maturation and function, demonstrating that BLP inhibit DC maturation and longevity in the lung cancer microenvironment. This suggests a new mechanism of tumor escape and provides new targets for the immunopharmacological correction of immune effectors in cancer.

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