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Clin Cancer Res. 2005 Dec 1;11(23):8250-7.

Expression of interleukin-9 in nasal natural killer/T-cell lymphoma cell lines and patients.

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Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Asahikawa Medical College, Asahikawa, Japan.



Nasal natural killer (NK)/T-cell lymphoma is associated with EBV and has distinct clinical and histologic features. However, little is known about its genetic features. In this study, we examined the genes expressed by SNK-6 and SNT-8 cells, which were established from nasal NK/T-cell lymphomas, and found that interleukin (IL)-9 was specifically expressed in these two cell lines.


cDNA array was used to examine the genes expressed by SNK-6 and SNT-8 cells. Expression of IL-9 and IL-9 receptor was investigated by reverse transcription-PCR, ELISA, and flow cytometry. Cell growth was assessed by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. Immunohistologic staining and ELISA were used to examine IL-9 expression in biopsies and sera from patients, respectively.


In cDNA array, expression of IL-9 mRNA was much higher in SNK-6 and SNT-8 cells than in NK-92 cells from non-nasal NK-cell lymphoma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy volunteers. Furthermore, IL-9 was specifically expressed by SNK-6 and SNT-8 cells but not by other NK-cell, NK-like T-cell, and T-cell lymphoma/leukemia cell lines. IL-9 receptor was also expressed on the surfaces of SNK-6 and SNT-8 cells. An IL-9-neutralizing antibody inhibited the growth of these two cell lines, whereas recombinant human IL-9 enhanced their growth. Most significantly, IL-9 was present in biopsies and sera from patients with this lymphoma.


These results suggest that IL-9 plays an important role in nasal NK/T-cell lymphoma possibly via an autocrine mechanism.

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