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Int J Cancer. 1992 Feb 20;50(4):659-64.

Relationship between sensitivity to natural killer cells and MHC class-I antigen expression in colon carcinoma cell lines.

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CJF INSERM 90.11, Faculté de Médecine, Nantes, France.


The sensitivity of colorectal tumors to NK-cell-mediated cytotoxicity and their expression of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class-I antigens were studied in an attempt to determine whether such antigens play a role in the susceptibility of colorectal tumors to NK-cell lysis. In a rat colon-carcinoma model, 2 clones differing in their sensitivity to NK-cell-mediated cytotoxicity were tested for class-I expression; it was seen that the more sensitive cells (REGb) expressed less class-I products than did the resistant cells (PROb). However, when MHC class-I antigen expression was increased by IFN-gamma treatment, no change in NK-cell lysis was found with the PROb cells, while an increase in cytotoxicity was obtained with the REGb cells. After in vivo or in vitro selection of NK-resistant REGb cells, we observed in the selected cells an important decrease in RT-I class-I antigen expression. Fifteen different human colorectal cell lines were also studied for HLA class-I expression and NK-cell susceptibility, and no quantitative correlation between these 2 features was seen. However, cell lines which were deficient in HLA class-I antigens were more sensitive than class-I-positive cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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